Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Liner Notes

Gestalt principles are basic tools of perception used by designers to create a cohesive, unified image. There are four Gestalt principles that have influenced the way images are designed for over a hundred years: proximity, similarity, closure, and continuity. These principles are most apparent in 2-D images, such as paintings, photographs, or advertisements. But Gestalt principles can be found in all different forms of design throughout the world. Take for example this photograph from Chanel’s fall 2009 runway show. Two Gestalt principles are used in the outfit and styling to create a unified look: continuity and similarity. Continuity appears in the line made by the vertical silver zipper running up the center of the sweater-dress that continues in the model’s perfectly parted hair. The black of the sleeves continues after the white ruffle in the black of the gloves, which fade away into black pockets. Similarity appears in the white curve of the collar on her neck that is echoed in the white curve of her false eyelashes. The similar color values of black and white in the dress and the makeup also unite the outfit and the styling. This is just one fashion look that exemplifies Gestalt principles, but there are many more. Gestalt principles are truly universal, and if we pay attention, we can find them hidden anywhere in our society.
(picture courtesy of J!-Ent)

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