If you see two circles of the same size and color which are placed next to each other, you tend to perceive that they have a relationship with each other rather than just being two different circles. It is how most people see elements as a whole or try to group them into a whole. Gestalt is a term used in psychology which expresses the idea that the whole of something is more important and convenient to our understanding than the individual parts.
Gestalt theory is a hypothesis which states that people tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied. According to it, the whole is different from the sum of its part.
Gestalt principles try to describe the ways by which the human mind interprets the visual elements. There are three general rules of Gestalt principle.
a. Objects are perceived in the simplest form.
b. Humans naturally follow lines or curves.
c. The mind will attempt to fill in detail that isn’t there.
There are several principles under Gestalt Hypothesis:
Principle of Continuity
The Principle of Continuity states that whenever our eye begins to follow something, it will continue travelling in the direction until it encounters another object. The eye creates momentum as it is compelled to move through one object and continue to another. Let’s check the examples of Continuity.
1. Logo designs
The logos of Amazon, Proquest, USA network, and Coca Cola follows the continuation principle of Gestalt. In the logo of Amazon, there is an arrow starting from A and ending at Z which depicts that Amazon has everything from A to Z. Similarly, in the logo of the famous brand, Coca Cola, our eyes follows the C from Coca to Cola, continuing from the C in the word Cola through L and A. These types of visual aids helps our eyes to follow the another or upcoming object.
2. Google Maps
Google Map has become a major necessity for the individual who is shifted to a new city or for the ones who like to travel a lot. They also follow the rule of continuity. When we set the destination on the google map, it shows us the pathway from the starting point to the destination. We tend to follow that pathway to reach our destination.
Principle of Closure
Closure occurs when an element is incomplete, or space is not enclosed. It involves subconsciously filling of the missing gaps or information. When a shape is not complete, but enough of the shape is shown, our minds will fill in the blanks and construct the whole of the shape. Let’s see the relevant examples of the closure principle.
3. Incomplete Logos and Designs
We can find some unfilled gap in various logos like WWF or EA sports. For instance, in the logo of WWF, there is an image of a panda, and it has some missing spaces on its back and head. It is probably where the white area of the panda would be. However, we are well aware of the shape and color of the panda. So, we automatically and subconsciously fill the missing gaps.
4. In Advertisements
In the image shown above, it is an advertisement for lenses. In this ad, the advertiser has tried to make the shape on a smiley with the help of objects and sentences, and we perceive the happy face in the advertisement as the advertisers want us to see. Though, it is not an entire image on a smiley emoji but, we perceived the missing details and imagined it as a happy face. It is the technique used by advertisers to attract people.
Principle of Similarity
Principle of similarity states that we tend to perceive things that physically resemble with one another as part of the same object. There may be a similarity in any one of them; color, shape, texture, or any other element. Let’s see the examples of the principle of similarity.
5. Logo Designs
In the logos of NBC, Panda Security Touts and Sun Microsystems, objects or patterns have similar visual characteristics, though they are not identical in color, shape or size. In the logo for panda security touts, logomark is perfectly linked with the wordmark. Similarly, in the logo for NBC, all the leaves are in diffrent colors but are perceived as similar and in the group because of their same shape.
Principle of Proximity
Principle of proximity states that when two or more things are close to each other, the position of these elements portray the relationship between separate part and give that group a specific meaning. Let’s see the examples of the proximity principle.
6. Dots/Puzzle Buzz
In the above image, Dots on the left appear to be the part of one group, and on the right, they seem to be in three diffrent groups.
7. IBM Logo
When we look at the IBM logo, we see three letters composed of short horizontal lines, stacked atop each other, instead of the eight horizontal lines interspersed with uniform gaps.
Principle of Pragnanz
The word pragnanz is a German term meaning “good figure.” The law of Pragnanz is also referred to as the law of good figure or the law of simplicity. This principle states that humans naturally perceive objects in the simplest form.
8. Olympic Logo
The Olympic logo has five circles. We tend to see this logo straightforwardly; 5 circles are juxtaposing to each other, rather than, an assortment of curves, shapes, colors, and lines.
Principle of Figure To ground
The human eye can differentiate an object from the surrounding. We perceive certain objects as being in the foreground and other objects as being in the background. Let’s check its examples.
9. Multistability Images
In the given above logo for, “Hope for African Children Initiative,” the logo simultaneously depicts the map of Africa and the waning silhouettes of an adult and a child.
10. Face and Vases illustration
In this image, we see faces and vases, which depends on our way of perception. If we see the white as the figure, then we perceive men and vice-versa.