Why Gestalt is better than the sum of its parts
What makes one design better than another? For Vijaybahu Joshi, Express KCS Design Director and a senior design professional with over 17 years industry experience, the following factors come into play:
When the first impression of a design solution is positive or when we instinctively see that the design looks good, it’s likely that one or more of the Gestalt principles of perception are at play. Gestalt theory dates back to the 1920s when a German scientist explained the idea of visual perception from a whole new perspective — one where the concept of perception works through our mind’s inherent ability to see objects as sum of smaller parts. Our minds have the ability to self-organize visual data in a manner that seems logical and easy to comprehend, all within a fraction of a second.
Grasping the idea of “totality” where our mind quickly identifies the form in total rather than individual pieces is essential to understand how ‘Gestaltism’ influences our design choices.
Interestingly, over the last decade Gestalt principles have remained the cornerstone of almost every design that we create at Express KCS. Day to day use of Gestalt principles while designing has elevated the way we deliver our services to clients as it shows our continued commitment to deliver first time right designs.
Let’s put a glance on the most extensively applied laws of ‘Gestalt’ which drive our perception system:
Closure – The law of closure suggests that we perceptually complete, or close-up, objects that are not, in fact, complete.
Our minds perceive the image above as complete as it connects the missing strokes in order to recognize the panda’s head and the body.
Figure – A figure is formed when the white space around the object results in the formation of another object. Here, the viewer’s eye differentiates the object from its surrounding area in a variety of ways to perceive separate objects each time.
The figure above can be perceived as of two faces facing each other or a glass depending on what we perceive as an object and what we perceive as background.
Continuation – Rule of continuation is very significant while designing as viewers are compelled to move their eye until it catches an important element, which makes sense to them.
The image above compels our eye to move from left to the right and explains the depth of the message. The smoothly flowing bar within “H” leads the eye to move towards the maple leaf.
The second part of Why you need Gestalt for Good Creative Design will be featured in the next Express KCS e-newsletter.