Gestalt Principles/ Editorial Design

02Apr11

Gestalt Principles are the concepts used in graphic design to create unity and variety. Its translation from German means simply form or whole. It is simply about the association between the elements and the entire of a composition. The aspect that designers should be concerned about is the visual perception.

Editorial design is an area that Gestalt Principles are very important. There are three essential principles that are used: alignment, grouping and ambiguity.  All these principles are related to each other. Alignment is the principle that is concerned about lining different elements to arrange forms and groups. The second principle is grouping. This principle is important to create different clusters in the layout design. Both these principles are important because it is important to create a system that works. To create a system the different elements shouldn’t fly around the page. The last principle is about the ambiguity. The designer shouldn’t create a monotonous design but that doesn’t mean that small differences of size and distance break the monotonous design. The differences of size and distance should not be minor. They should be visible to the eye because small differences are not really recognizable and they create ambiguity.

These are page layouts of the Good Magazine by Mark Weaver. The layouts are designed by two columns of continuous text that have the same width. The sizes of images are not close to each other, therefore there isn’t any ambiguity on that aspect. The designer also aligned the elements and he used lines as secondary elements.

I also want to add Alexey Brodovich’s works. These are his works for the Bazaar Magazine. In editorial design by Alexey Brodovich what attracts the attention is the use of negative space. In his work the combination of the continuous text and images attract attention. The alignments are clear and there isn’t any ambiguity.

The third example I want to post is the Ling Magazine.

In this magazine some of the pages have 2, some have 3 columns of continuous text. The sizes of the images used are different and their sizes aren’t close. There are titles with bold letters and there are subtitles written with blue underneath. They form clusters. Also the explanations about the images are written with lighter fonts with smaller font size. They are also close to the images. They create clusters with the images.

In some of the other examples there is a larger column that narrows down and two columns with the same width. These columns are justified but the column that narrows down isn’t so they can’t be mixed with each other.

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One Response to “Gestalt Principles/ Editorial Design”

  1. I was wondering why your magazine pages looked familiar, we saw some of them in va 312 didn’t we =) Alexey Brodovich is the god of negative space in editorial design.


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