NHS Designs

closeness; the state of being near

Design Principles

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Page 11: Summary of Proximity

When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. Items relating to each other should be grouped together. Be conscious ofwhere your eye is going:

  • Where do you start looking?
  • What path do you follow?
  • Where do you end up?
  • After you've read it, where does your eye go next?

You should be able to follow a logical progression through the piece, from a definite beginning to a definite end.


The basic purpose

The basic purpose of proximity is to organize.

Other principles come into play as well, but simply grouping related elements together into closer proximity automatically creates organization. If the information is organized, it is more likely to be read and more likely to be remembered.

As a by-product of organizing the communication, you also create more appealing (more organized) white space (designers' favorite thing).


How to get it

  • Squint your eyes slightly and count the number of visual elements on the page by counting the number of times your eye stops.
  • If there are more than three to five items on the page (of course it depends on the piece), see which of the separate elements can be grouped together into closer proximity to become one visual unit.


What to avoid

  • Don't stick things in the corners or in the middle just because the space is empty.
  • Avoid too many separate elements on a page.
  • Avoid leaving equal amounts of white space between elements unless each group is part of a subset.
  • Avoid even a split second of confusion over whether a headline, subhead, caption, graphic, etc., belongs with its related material. Create a relationship
    among elements with close proximity.
  • Don't create relationships with elements that don't belong together! If they are not related, move them apart from each other.


Next: Poster Assignment...

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Source: The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams

resources · copyright information · Website designed by
Order a Custom, Watercolor Pet Portrait at PetsByDawn.com