How to create flow and rhythm through composition

Composition is a great tool for creating a visual flow or rhythm to guide the viewers eye and lead them through your content. Thinking about the way you want your users to interact with your content is important—you probably want users to read the text that convinces them to buy your product before they see your “Buy Now” button, for example.

Some obvious elements that help create a visual flow include arrows, lines and perspective. Weight, positioning, spacing and color can also be used to create a visual flow and rhythm.

What considerations should be made and what specific techniques can be used when creating a visual flow & rhythm in design?

Some examples:

Pulp Fingers


New Deal Festival

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The answer to this question could be a master’s thesis, so please consider my answer as an opinion more than a technical answer.

Designs, when it comes with ads, posters, book covers, etc., are direct messages wrapped in a design composition. The common elements between all compositions are typography, visual language, scripture language and its direction. When it comes to typographic language, we are talking tacitly about “directions”, and directions give us “moments”. We assume in any typographic design that the eye will move from left to right and from the top to bottom. This is the basic eye moment for any visual typographic composition and some called it “Reading Pattern”.

So already we have a start in our composition based on “Reading Pattern” where the viewers follow it naturally. Text and some graphics will lead us to start from the very top/left and end in the bottom/right. Further in this answer I will call it the TL/RB rule or the Basic Reading Pattern, as if I am reading a newspaper columns. This is the very basic direction.

Compositions with some styles, colors, and any visual design elements may break the rule, like font weights, colors, style, using arrows, proportions etc. All possible compositions you mentioned are a rule breakers, but each starts from the rule. What I mean by that is when we intend to break the TL/RB rule (Basic reading pattern) with some styles, we are actually creating small “sentences” within the whole message we want to deliver to the viewer. In other words, we start our composition from any position in the design and give the viewer their own journey and experience understanding our whole message according to our composition and based on the viewer’s “culture”.

When we decide to catch the user’s eye and redirect it the way we want through our design, we are actually composing a visual language speaking to the viewer’s conscience and giving them enough time to absorb the rest of our message using the basic and default TL/RB rule and based on their culture.

It’s hard to say where the user will start their journey in my design, but I can lead him with some eye-catching styles. This is not easy because I am speaking to him with a visual language and assuming he can understand what I want to say withing my design, what message is, where to start and where to end, and how to understanding my design. This language is not a direct scripture language, meaning it is not a common language that could be understood directly. That’s why we call it “design philosophy”. It may be reflect a common visual language, or may not, depending on both designer and viewer culture.

I am not speaking to users through my design with my visual language only, but I am speaking a visual Language that the user may be understood according to the user’s culture as well. My design and his culture must meet together in the first impression.

This is my concept and I could talk more, but as I said it could be a master’s thesis.

Source : Link , Question Author : Cai , Answer Author : hsawires

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