Humans are wired to see some elements in a specific pattern to make some logic in the world. In the early twentieth century, German psychologists came up with theories of visual perception to analyze how humans group together elements to make a single coherent group.

Gestalts principles are all in the mind. They show how you perceive the world around you. When you understand the working of the human mind, it is easier to get the attention of people diverted to the right place. Let’s have a look at the 7 basic laws of visual perception!

  1. Law of Figure-Ground

This law examines how the eyes can separate the shapes from the foreground or the background of the design. This principle lets you focus on the relevant things formed by shapes. It also differentiates basis the similarity in color, form and pattern.

Here the two images explain the law of figure-ground and how the eyes can differentiate the objects from the black background.

Image source:

Image source:

  • Law of Similarity

When things appear similar, we tend to group them together. We also think they serve the same purpose. It can refer to features, colors, orientation or size. It is used to differentiate elements, like in the case of the image given below.

The circles and the squares can be sorted out differently by the mind, though they are of the same color. We have the ability to know that different shapes serve a different purpose.

Image source:

  • Law of Proximity

The elements that are close to each other appear to be more related than the elements which are farther. They are perceived to be together in a unified group; the farther items are less likely to be group together.

The law of proximity is applied where some elements are closer in proximity than other elements. Like in the image above the closer circles can be group as one, and separated from the farther circles. It is also applied in various typography, iconography and other art. In the example below, lines are placed in such a manner than they form the word IBM.

  • Law of Common Region

Things with the same region with a clearly defined boundary are often perceived as together in a unified group. This law is evident in the designing of various websites. For instance, in the following example of, items are grouped in a manner that common items are placed in a common region so as to make it obvious that they serve a common purpose.

  • Law of Continuity

This law tells how objects are perceived when they are in a line or curve going in a continuous flow. We follow the flow and continue our perception of beyond their ending points.

The following example of Coca-Cola logo shows the law of continuity. The observer moves from C to A in a flowing and continual manner.

  • Law of Closure

Perceiving objects as complete rather than focusing on the gaps in a complex arrangement of visuals to make a recognizable pattern. This law is applied in many artworks; mostly logo designs.

The negative space in the following popular logos is a fine example of the law of closure. We tend to finish the lines on our own, rather than following on the white space. The peacock in the NBC logo, as well as the figure of a human on Fortis logo, is the application of closure in these logos.

  • Law of Focal Point

This principle is more about creating focus. Things that are contrasting to the others draw attention. It suffices the need to quickly identify the unknown. In the following examples, the lips of the woman and the umbrella of the girl are highlighted to direct more focus to them. This is the law of focal point.

Image source:

Image source:

Get going with applying these visual theories in practice. The application of these principles can be learnt through various design classes to be applied in font design, logo design, web design, and video making. It is used by various people of creative industry including graphic designers, art designers, comic book and graffiti artists.

Hope this information helped! For more information, have a look at the courses we provide at