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Balance is a fundamental human condition: we require
physical balance to stand upright and walk; we seek balan-
ce among the many facets of our personal and professional
lives; the world struggles for balance of power.
In design, balance anchors and activates elements
in space. Relationships among elements on the page or
screen remind us of physical relationships. Visual balance
occurs when the weight of one or more things is distribu-
ted evenly or proportionately in space. Like arranging
furniture in a room, we move components around until the
balance of form and space feels right. Large objects are a
counterpoint to smaller ones; dark objects to lighter ones.
A symmetrical design is inherently stable. Yet ba-
lance need not be static. A tightrope walker achieves
balance while traversing a precarious line in space, conti-
nually shifting her weight while staying in motion.
Designers employ contrasting size, texture, value, color,
and shape to offset or emphasize the weight of an object
and achieve the acrobat's dynamic sense of balance.
Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern:
the beating of drums, the patter of rain, the falling of
footsteps. Speech, music, and dance all employ rhythm
to express form over time. Designers use rhythm to
construct single images as well as to create books, ma-
gazines, and motion graphics that have duration and
sequence. Designers seek rhythms that are punctuated
with change and variation.