How to Utilise Asymmetrical and Symmetrical Balance for Effective Marketing
To introduce what we’re going to be discussing today, let’s take a look at one of the most famous landmarks in the world – the Eiffel Tower. There are many reasons why millions are attracted to the Eiffel Tower every year and why it’s so aesthetically pleasing. One of those reasons is the symmetrical balance of its features. This balance evokes a sense of traditionalism and stability.
Now, if we take a look at another famous piece of culture, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, you will notice it is unlike the Eiffel Tower. The painting is asymmetrical in nature, if we bisect it with an imaginary line each side is different. However, our eye moves from one side to the other in an even way, creating asymmetrical balance. Michelangelo did this strategically to draw focus and tell a story through his art.
Looking at the Eiffel Tower and The Creation of Adam, they showcase a profound sense of beauty while following both types of balance in their design. What we want to know though is which one should be used in everyday graphic and web design and what the real difference is between them.
Below, we’ll discuss and define asymmetrical and symmetrical balance, while comparing their uses and impact. Hopefully, this will provide some insight on what is the best to use for your own creative purposes
Symmetrical balance is exactly what it sounds like, it occurs when you two identical sides of a design split by a central axis – the left and right side should mirror the content found on the opposite side. For a design to be considered perfectly symmetrical, each side must have equally weighed visuals and reflect each other.
Following this rule allows you to draw onlookers attention to all areas of the image equally. As this form of design is normally tightly structured and rigid in nature, it is usually referred to as formal balance. In terms of marketing, symmetrical design is perfect for projects that involve invitations or discount offers but can often appear boring when used in more creative pieces.
Take a look at the Eiffel Tower again and notice its symmetrical balance:
Asymmetrical balance is when you have different visual elements on either side of a design, yet they seem to work perfectly in balance with each other. For a design to be categorised as asymmetrical it needs to have an uneven weighting of visuals on either side, but the visuals need to balance each other.
It is a popular design choice as it evokes the feeling of movement and projects a more modern aesthetic than symmetrical designs. It can often be more difficult to create relationships between each of the designs individual elements.
We can now look back at The Creation of Adam again, now considering what we have just learnt:
The thought of asymmetrical design may seem to be random, but as The Creation of Adam suggests, it is still strategic. You can’t throw design elements haphazardly around a page and still expect a compelling composition. For an asymmetrical design to be successful, it must be worked on to find out how you should balance out the image.
Michelangelo’s painting guides you across the image from Adam to God through strategic composition, balancing out what the viewer sees and leading their eyes. It would not be asymmetrical image had the characters been sat in the same position facing each other.