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Compositional Rules

Applied IT (Year 11) - Design Concepts (U1)

Jeckmen Wu

Reading Gravity 

Also known as Gutenberg’s Rule, the principle of reading gravity is based on our eyes’ tendency to fall to the top left corner of a layout or page of text (based on the western way of reading), before working our way down from left to right, emulating a “Z” shape.

This creates 4 quadrants on a page listed in accordance with their level of importance:

  1. Primary optical (top left)

  2. Strong fallow (top right)

  3. Weak fallow (bottom left)

  4. Terminal area (bottom right). 

Rule of Thirds 

The rule of thirds is used in photography and visual composition that divides the canvas into thirds vertically & horizontally. The rule recommends positioning important elements along the dividing lines or at intersection points (AKA power points). This creates a dynamic shot that engages the audience by generating intrigue through its asymmetry. At the same time, balance is still maintained between the main subject and the blank space. 

Grid & Alignment

A grid is a guideline used to structure a layout by using rows & columns within which elements can be placed. Alignment refers to the lining up of elements. Utilising grid & alignment creates an organised and consistent design that is easy for the audience to understand.

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