Principles of Design: Symmetry

Use of Symmetry

REFLECTIVE SYMMETRY: Sometimes symmetry is created by reflecting an image over an axis. Designs can be symmetrical along a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. One side of the line reflects the mirror image of the other side. Designs with reflective symmetry are balanced and suggest stability.
Radial & Rotational Symmetry: Symmetry can also be created by rotating an image around a central point. Objects with rotational symmetry reman the same as they turn. Objects with radial symmetry can be divided in half at any angle and the two halves are identical. Designs with this type of symmetry are centered. Rotational symmetry can also suggest motion.
Asymmetrical Designs: Asymmetrical designs can be created by using only part fo a symmetrical shape or by using asymmetrical shapes. These designs are much more dynamic than symmetrical designs and they can give important cues about visual hierarchy.
Symmetrical designs are stable and predictable, but they can also be somewhat boring.
Asymmetrical designs are more dynamic and engaging.
Balance: Symmetrical designs are inherently balanced. But balance is also a key concept for asymmetrical designs. Several smaller elements can be used to balance one larger element. Text can be balanced by colors or shapes. Other times white space can be used to achieve balance.