Achieving Balance

Balance, or a lack thereof, is a powerful tool for any poster layout. And that's because a lack of balance is disturbing. From a young age, we learn to avoid leaning trees, rocks, furniture, and ladders as potential dangers. Seeing imbalance in a design causes a similar visceral reaction: Are we going to fall over? Is something going to fall on us?

In composition, we assume a center vertical axis and expect to see equal weight on both sides. Balance is especially important in a poster design, because a poster will often need to stand alone, with nothing outside of the design to stabilize it. (Some designs, like magazine ads, can be balanced by the adjacent page or another nearby element.)

Symmetrical Balance

Nature is full of ...

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