Basic Design Concepts 101: Visual Triangle

Note: Each week I will be exploring design fundamentals and how they are used in scrapbooking. Some of which you use without even knowing it!

The visual triangle: What is it and how is it used in both scrapbooking and graphic design.

A visual triangle is an invisible triangle formed when design elements are arranged around the page to create movement, define the focal point and allow the reader to quickly scan to the important parts of your page.

A visual triangle is most often seen in print design but it can be applied to any project you are working on. An example would be using an accent color across a web page. While it creates visual interest, it also creates a flow to which our eye naturally follows. An important factor to consider since the average person spends less than 15 seconds on a web page. In scrapbooking we most commonly see it as embellishment clusters. Embellishment clusters are groups (usually 3 or 5) of embellishments that upon closer inspection have the same embellishments like flowers, hearts, and stars or the same color within the cluster.

A Two page layout showing a visual triangle can unite pages and give a cohesive look. There are two visual triangles on these pages. The first is with the coral color used to paint the wood veneer words and compass. The other is the embellishment clusters that draw your eye around the page to the journaling spots.

One way to unite embellishment clusters is to use the same accent on each of the clusters. Here you see a brown chipboard heart and an epoxy circle which are sprinkled throughout each cluster. You naturally know that like things belong together when your eye scans the page.

The second way to create a visual triangle is by color. Color can be used within the embellishment cluster like Shine is above or by strategically placing color or pattern to create a visual triangle.

Don’t think you need 3 like embellishments to create a visual triangle. The compass was painted on the back of the acetate as to not obstruct the print on the front. Your eye sees the color first before it identifies what it is.

Bringing the same coral color across to the bottom of the page unites the pages together and gives your eye its final resting place.

Key Points to Remember:

  1. A visual triangle creates a unified cohesive design that allows your eye to focus on key areas of your page.
  2. A visual triangle can be made with embellishment clusters, color, and pattern.
  3. Embellishment clusters don’t have to be exactly the same. Pick one larger embellishment (like a heart) and showcase it around in your clusters. The other embellishments within the cluster can be supporting embellishments or accents.

I hope I have demystified visual triangles and how to use them. They are a great tool for scrapbookers and graphic designers alike. Next topic will be the 5 basic principles of design: Alignment, Repetition, Contrast, Hierarchy, Balance/Symmetry, and Balance/Tension and how this relates to better Scrapbook layouts!

Published by Redheaded StoryKeeper

I am a creative soul who loves scrapbooking, graphic design, and photography.

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