Gestalt Principles & Grid Designs

“The best design comes when proven theory works in harmony with art.”

Gestalt explains and describes that how our minds organize visual data’s. To get more effective results from one main design, stronger clarity of the form is necessity. Gestalt idea is not a contemporary thing, it originates with 20th century psychiatrist and philosophers. Psychiatry Christian von philosopher Ehrenberg and Max are important names and pioneers of the gestalt theory. I want to talk about two principles of gestalt theory that i found useful; which are proximity, symmetry and multistability.


Proximity basically mean ‘grouping’ the objects and provides eye to see objects like one formed group.

For instance, on the following image of Music awards there is different use of grouping by separating and grouping sponsors logos from the other logos. Negatif space help two groups separation done with eyes. Also to increase the organizational logos importance, they put them to left corner with bigger size. Thus, that means grouping not only serving to design but also it serves to some strategical reasons.


When the eye sees shapes like around the center, with same distance it means it is symmetrical design. symmetry is aesthetically appealing, it is not a hard issue to work on it for hours, to recognize. symmetry is everywhere, it’s on nature itself. When there is symmetry viewer see the object like two half and sometimes if the design is not succesful enough, viewers eye could separate design into two piece and analyze it separately, so that while using symmetry it is important to make succesful design for not giving a wrong sense to viewer. Here are some symmetric and asymmetric logo designs.


Multistability (multistable perception) is an experience of popping back and forth of perception that switches between two or more alternative objects or images. Here is the figure of vase (white) and the dog heads (black); both of them can’t be seen at the same time however when there is two optional images that you can recognize separately. By the way, gestalt is not way of explaining ‘how an image can be seen in another image’; it is just doing it.



Here is my grid system design for our new Mihav magazine. I chose to construct it with three coloumbs. My smallest value is 0.5 cm. It is useful distance to put between texts and images, more than 0.5 cm looks awkward and too much negatif space which can destruct viewers attention while reading articles. Lets call our 1cm long space the ‘x’. I have 2x blanks at the left, right, top and bottom corners. Also middle of the page has 2x blank too. My each coloumb consist of 6x, so that 3 coloumbs fit to 18 cm horizontal line. Like I have said, between images or textes I chose to use x/2 blank.

While constructing my basic grid system I also want to try to put images and textes on them, to see how they look like with my decisions. I chose to use symmetric pictoral space which I have stated with blue shapes and the grey ones are my textes. To use grouping I chose to put x/2 blank between textes while I chose to put 1.5x between image and textes, mostly.

& here is three other designs that i have found well-structred, done by different designers. I want to put grids on them to analyze how they have been structured.

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