Importance of Gestalt Principles
“Gestalt” is a German word for “unified whole”. The definition already gives us lots of information about the main point of the Gestalt Principle. It’s important to understand how customers perceive and interpret your work.
So everything started in the 1920s when German psychologists decided to discover how humans gain meaningful perceptions from the chaotic stimuli around them. They were able to discover the set of laws that works like a compulsion on us and forces us to see order in disorder.
This principle is an essential part of visual design. This article will be about the five Gestalt Principles: proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, and connectedness.
According to the Proximity Principle we perceive objects that are closer together as one whole unit. We can see it in design as a powerful way to create certain visuals, decide how much should be the distance between the words and the pictures, and so on.
For example, when we are talking about headlines, they should have more space before them than after. Those kinds of simple rules are very important when we talk about visual designs which should attract more customers toward us.
Objects that are similar are seen together as a group. In this case, we think that similar things could have the same functions as well.
For example, let’s imagine the picture of black and white circles, where the black circles are in the first line and the white circles are on the second line, we will incorporate white circles in one group and the black circles in another one.
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Our visual system avoids sudden changes and interruptions. We always follow certain directions, we could be talking about the row of circles again or just numbers, we have to follow a certain line like we’d group 1-2, 3-4 or two black circles easily with each other, but if we’ll have mixed up numbers (like 4-2) or too many mismatched circles at once, it won’t be so easily perceived at first glance.
People prefer complete forms. So when we see certain images or logos which aren’t finished properly, we complete the whole picture in our mind and fill out the empty spaces.
We group the elements when they are connected, like they could be connected via boxes or lines as well. A good example would be the navigation sections, cause in that case mostly we see different boxes or lines.
How do the brands use the Gestalt Principles?
When companies have customers from all over the world, they have to make sure that their values and benefits will be understandable to everybody.
Coca-Cola actively uses the law of proximity to create positive feelings in its customers. They create different visuals, for example, one of those images consists of their trademark colors, white and red. It’s a red background with white figures, when you group the white figures, you see the smile, which of course people associate with joy, happiness, and so on.
Nescafe used the law of similarity with the letters “N” and “Z”. Z is associated with sleeping, so they used a simple background with lots of Z written there and then finished the line with N, which is connected to their brand. They let us see in a very simple way how we can fight off sleep and be more energized with their product.
The Gestalt in Logo Design
We can use it to create memorable logos, which will be captivating and informative as well. The WWF logo is a great example of the low of closure because we see two major colors there, white and black, the figure isn’t complete but when we look at it we see the shape of a panda, we automatically complete the picture in our mind.
When we mix up psychology and marketing, we get many innovative ways of communicating with people, because both of them need to know more about the human mind and behavior. Gestalt principles will help you to get a clearer understanding of how visual perceptions generally work and how you can send clear and important messages.
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