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14 The Principles of

14 The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Figure 1.10. 10K Apart website with 16-column grid overlay The longing we have for structure, grids, and ideal proportion is deeply ingrained in human nature. A layout that “doesn’t look quite right” can often be fixed by moving elements and resizing them on the grid. So if a layout isn’t working, keep experimenting. At some point, all the pieces will click together and the Tetris level-up sound will play in your head. You will have achieved balance.

Layout and Composition 15 Balance In a figurative sense, the concept of visual balance is similar to that of physical balance illustrated by a seesaw. Just as physical objects have weight, so do the elements of a layout. If the elements on either side of a layout are of equal weight, they balance one another. There are two main forms of visual balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical Balance Figure 1.11. Examples of symmetrical balance Symmetrical balance, or formal balance, occurs when the elements of a composition are the same on either side of an axis line, as shown in Figure 1.11. The digital painting Contemplation by David Lanham, shown in Figure 1.12, illustrates this concept well. Notice how the male and female figures are similar in position and proportion. Even the shaded background boxes are mirror images of one another.

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