Tip # 30: Know the Gestalt Principles

Gestalt psychological principles describe how we perceive the world—basically, they tell us how we group things. How humans group things is vital to design because it tells us how we separate things; i.e. how we create dimensions of contrast, something we’ve talked a bit about before.

Gestalt psychology evolved in Berlin in the 1880s, around the time some key design shifts were taking place. Namely, Gestalt helped guide modern & Swiss design movements. In fact, many early Swiss designers did not call themselves designers, but actually referred to themselves as “Gestalt Practitioners.”

The Gestalt principles are key lessons of any would-be designer. They form the foundation of many other design guidelines. So, this week, let’s learn about Gestalt.

  1. Figure ground relationships
  2. Similarity
  3. Proximity
  4. Uniform connectedness
  5. Good continuation
  6. Common fate
  7. Closure

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