The Gestalt Theory – Point, Line & Form

What is Gestalt Theory?

In this session, we were introduced to an interesting theory called “Gestalt Theory” developed by a german psychologist in the 1920s . It’s a theory with a series of principles that allow us to predict how the viewers respond to design.


Gestalt Principles

  • Law of Similarity – Items that are similar to one another are often being grouped by your brain it’s a natural pattern that your brain notices, here’s an example:

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In this example of triangles and circles your brain creates, or rather notices a vertical pattern consisting of triangles and circles, the brain naturally organizes it in vertical columns rather than long horizontal columns.

  • Law of Prägnanz – This law explains how our brain reduces certain shapes within a complex bigger shape into a more simple form.  It reminds me of how most artists often see something before they draw it, simplifying a visually complex object.

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  • Law of Proximity – Having a closer object next to one groups them together. Space separates certain objects especially when there is a closer object near the other, the brain automatically groups the shapes with the smallest distance to one another thus forming them together.

 

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  • Law of Good Continuation – Your brain notices which lines are continuous and naturally follows it no matter what colour it is thus putting other lines into a separate category, and the example shows exactly how the use of continuity can be a more powerful guide than colour.

 

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  • Law of Closure – The brain naturally fills negative space, missing information creating a shape or an image by grouping objects together.

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In this example, we see how the brain fills the negative space creating a cube shape object even though it’s not there.


Pareidolia

Pareidolia is a pattern recognition in the brain, it’s when our imagination forms a group of objects into one image (for example of an animal or a person etc.). Personally, I’ve always been able to just see more than just a crack in the ceiling or a cloud in the sky, just as how some Americans end up on the news for “spotting the image of Jesus” on a Cheetos. I’ve encountered it throughout my life yet I didn’t know the definition of it up until this point, and I’m glad I acquired the knowledge as I can explain it to someone more briefly.

For my examples, I have decided to include Jesus “appearings” to further help understand the Pareidolia.

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Here we see virgin mary holding baby Jesus. For some who may not know, Cheetos are cheese-flavored puffs. It’s pretty rare to see a puff shaped like Jesus. I just hope it’s not just me that see it.

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Here we see Jesus on Marmite. The marmite on the lid that looks like him, that is.

and one example just for the sake of diversity.

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I wonder if the designer of this sink had an image in mind because it certainly does look like a face that is a little confused or rather, a blank expression.  I don’t really need imagination for this one as it covers all the basic shapes of the face, making the image inevitable to overlook.


Workshop – Point, Line & Form

Understanding grids has been something that I personally have overlooked, it just wasn’t interesting to me during college and I felt a little limited with it. But to be honest this workshop did spark an interest in understanding more about them. Their function serves a great purpose not just in books and magazines but in buildings, roads, fields etc. Pretty much everything is dependent on a certain grid to be measured, build or to have a function.

I’ve come across great book layouts that are simplistic and at the same dynamic with so much going on. The examples in the workshop did make me remember aspects within the subject that I was taught before, and I think if I want to develop something whether it’s just a logo or a full page layout I need to learn the fundamentals in order to make the best use of it.

Workshop Objective:

What we had to do might seem simple at first, it was to cut out a few pieces of text using a scalpel and glue the text, header, and shape in different layout styles (I believe we were told to aim at 8 layouts) all at 200 mm.

As I heard this I began to quickly sketch small scamps and plan ahead of what I’ll be doing.

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After the sketching I began to cut out the shapes and trying to position then within a visually pleasing way, I must say that it really was harder than I thought. I think I should practice more on this as I wasn’t exactly pleased with my effort.

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Attempts at placing the layouts.

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I thought a constructivist-inspired alignment would be a nice addition to my attempts. I like how the text goes in a zig-zag way around the page and how the dot is there to keep balance as the header is too bold and big.

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The second attempt at the same style, this time including a lighter san-serif font and placing the circle next the text to drive more attention into it.

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I decided to experiment more and see if a title placed vertically would be effective enough to work. It’s also aligned with the dot.

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I personally like this one more than the others. I like how aligned the header, dot, text and date are. It’s so structured and minimal and it makes me wish I experimented more into that sort of style.

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Again, not really something I like, but as the objective of this workshop was to experiment I believe I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried to create something that I never have. Looking at it now I think I could have aligned the text with the title, possibly position the circle more towards the vertical header.

It’s good to keep track of certain mistakes as I could work on them and develop better work in the future.

 

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Voices & Authorship – Workshop group work

In this workshop, we were introduced to the library and all the available resources that come with it, later on, there was a discussion of the different ways a person can gather information for research. It is quite important to know on which information to rely on, and so the whole point of the group work, in my opinion, is to exactly clear that out for future projects and briefs.

For the objective, a variety of information resources were given to us to make up which is more reliable and why. It was up to us to put them in the right order that we think is right.

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Our group has picked the research order in the way shown in the picture. I’ll explain a little bit about why and my personal opinion regarding this.


  • Academic Journal Article – Most reliable source for research, it’s based on facts and is preferable by tutors due to the fact that the information is being written by people with trustful reputation and background, making it easier to quote him/her rather than an anonymous internet comment.
  • Book – Very reliable as well, a good way to research a certain topic, in a way, it’s safer to quote certain aspects from books rather than online information.
  • Magazine Article – A niche specific magazine related to the topic of your research is of good use as it reflects the voice of a community interested in the subject.
  • Newspaper article – Good way to look at a certain subject in the perspective of the mainstream media, helpful but not reliable on its own.
  • Wikipedia – Helpful yet misleading at times due to the liberty of the site allowing everyone to participate and edit information which might not always be accurate or true.
  • Blog post/Tweet – I have decided to put both of these as it’s quite debatable which one is more reliable than the other, and since they both are social medias it’s only fair that they are labelled as a similar resource. Great for hearing a different opinion on the matter of the subject.

What do you expect from GMD? – Another Brainstorming

This question might seem pretty easy, I’m pretty confident as to why I have joined this university but it might be harder to describe it besides the usual “because I want to improve my skill” sentence people give.

The activity was in groups as the previous one and  it’s interesting to hear how similar the answers are and how every student expects to be challenged, to the point that they write something motivational and encouraging.

 

 

First Week – What is Graphic Design?

This is the post excerpt.

Today we were assigned to a group of 4 people to discuss and define the terms “Graphic”, “Media” and “Design”. It was a good way of challenging yourself to brainstorm within a group of people from different backgrounds and cultures, and also share ideas between each other.

As we all got to write something on the paper, the more we started discussing the more ideas we had to put on the paper.

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To me “Graphic” is a digital field of design. Variety of colours, layers, letters and diagrams can all be covered within the Graphic attribute.

“Media” is the choice of materials that you choose. It can be traditional as well as digital. It’s what helps you communicate to your audience, the weapon of choice, in a way.

“Design” is also a type of communication, the way of solving someone’s problem and fulfills a purpose, it’s also a lifestyle. It’s around everyone when you look around.

Personally, I think it is a nice warm up to start the first week as it gets you thinking creatively and getting to know your peers with whom you’ll spend a year with.

As easy as it might seem it’s still an important part to know more about your field of study, if you don’t understand the basic concept of it, it’ll probably be hard to grasp on the advanced projects.

Later on was the seminar which consisted of tutorials on how to use the university’s Moodle page, the information was very useful as Moodle is something we will be using to submit deadline and read briefs on, also, the main brief for the following weeks was introduced to us.

The CTS brief is a 400 words essay on the subject “What is referencing?”. We are to reference it in Harvard style and upload it to moodle via “Turnitin”.