Gestalt Theory And Website Design

We’ve blogged before about the ways psychology can influence design, including the moods and atmosphere that color and shape can create. In today’s blog, we would like to focus on the Gestalt Theory. The word Gestalt means “unified whole” and refers to the way we perceive a grouping of similar objects as one thing. Understanding the principles of this theory can be a definitely benefit to your design!

The Gestalt Principles

  1. Similarity: By taking a group of objects or images that are similar in size, shape, or color, you can create the illusion of a single, cohesive image. You can also highlight one important aspect by making it the only one that appears different, which is referred to as an anomaly.
  2. Continuation: With this principle, a designer will sue a line or curve that goes through an image or a word to draw the eye. You can use this principle to combine multiple objects into a single image.
  3. Closure: A logo will often employ closure, in which an incomplete object can seem complete due to the human eye’s tendency to see closed objects. Much of the outer lines of the object are implied, instead of drawn outright.
  4. Proximity: With proximity, you can take a group of different objects, but based on their placement near each other, imply a single group. The objects can be similar shape and color, but different sizes, or the same size but with shifts in color and shape. How they sit next to each other can make these separate elements seem like one.
  5. Figure/Ground: Have you ever seen that image of two faces of the same color looking at one another with a different background color, creating the image of either a vase, or of two faces, simultaneously? This uses the figure and ground principle. The human eye tends to separate the figure (the two faces) from the ground (the background, which becomes a vase). You can achieve unique images and illusions with this principle.
  6. Symmetry: Simply put, this principle says that your image or logo needs to have a sense of balance. Otherwise, a person would focus on the missing elements or find the image to be distracting or ugly. Achieving a sense of harmony with your logo or design is very important.

Do you have questions about psychology and graphic design? Looking for new ways to help your practice grow? Then contact us today and let us help! Send an email to MDPM Consulting at, or give us a call at 972-781-8861!