A8 Proportion: Symmetrical & Asymmetrical Balance

Balance can be proportionally affected by visual weight and also by structure. In general terms, the most frequently used means of establishing structural balance involve symmetry and asymmetry.

Symmetry involves mirroring an image along an imaginary axis. The compositions below demonstrate symmetrical balance. In each case there’s an imaginary axis that gives each composition either vertical symmetry (Polaroid ad; Puelles wine bottle), horizontal symmetry (Queen of Hearts), diagonal symmetry (2010 poster) or radial symmetry (Cinzano logo).

poster-rorsach-test wine-label2QueenOfHearts-cropped2solar-systemradial-balance-logo2


Asymmetrical balance does not involve a mirrored structure or axis, but rather a felt sense of balance. The sense of structure is typically more fluid and possesses more random qualities. The compositions below demonstrate asymmetrical balance. In each case there’s a felt sense of balance borne out of proportional considerations (size, weight and placement).


prouve Bressonchairmans-letterThe typographic arrangements mimic the arrangement of other torn shapes.

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