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The Mystery of Symmetric and Asymmetric Design

Beauty is very subjective, and symmetry is beautiful. That describes a lot about symmetry doesn’t it? But most individuals believe the point that symmetry truly is beautiful. It gives us a sensation of balance and provides a visual entice. But exaggerate it and it gets simply boring! Asymmetry however can seem much more exciting and out of the box when executed with the right touch.

So – if we believe that symmetry is beautiful, but can get tedious at periods, and asymmetry is surprisingly exciting despite the point that it is not as ideal, which do you think is more properly used in visible graphic designs?

Do you think one is to be recommended over another? Or do you believe both perform together? Study on to discover more!


Objects in real life are usually not symmetrical at first look. On the other part, nature does transform objects towards symmetry in an unusual sensation. Gravitational probably play a large role with natural symmetry around us. Maybe the point that we DO discover symmetry in nature brings us to believe it is “as things should be”.

Symmetry can further be categorized into 3 types:

Reflective Symmetry – This is also known as bilateral symmetry. This is nothing but the reflection of an object around a bilateral axis. The axis could be directing towards any direction, and that is unrelated. What IS appropriate is one side of the axis is reflected on its reverse side. Natural life forms usually show this type of symmetry and an excellent example is the wings of a butterfly.

Rotational Symmetry. This is also known as radial symmetry and it is the rotation of components around a certain central point, much like electrons in an atom revolving around a nucleus, or the planet’s around the sun. Well, the components do NOT have to MOVE where rotational symmetry is concerned. An example is the flower petals growing around the central area. In graphic designs, this type of symmetry can be applied to provide a sensation of movement.

Translation Symmetry. This is also known as crystallographic symmetry, and it explains the location of certain components in different spaces. It could occur in any given direction just as long as the orientation is maintained. Life forms in nature can show translation symmetry through reproduction! This type of symmetry can show rhythm in a design and it can also be used to provide the viewers a sensation of activity or dynamics. You could also use it to make backgrounds.

Apart from the apparent aesthetics that symmetrical designs generate, they can also be recalled or remembered more quickly than asymmetrical designs. This is why logo design is often symmetrical. Symmetrical designs provide a sense of balance and harmony, oneness, elegance and even stability. On the opposite, they can often be seemed upon as plain designs and some may even call symmetrical absolutely boring!


Asymmetry is the absence of symmetry, simply speaking. It means the deficiency of balance and everything else that symmetry appears for. Asymmetry is very common in natural forms as well. You are more likely right handed than a left handed, one of our legs is sometimes a dimension bigger than the other and fiddler crabs have one claw bigger than the other! These are all illustrations of asymmetry in nature. Further, fish have a left fin small than its right, so as to make space for the asymmetrical heart inside, and even clouds take unique shapes!

Maybe it is because of this complexities associated with asymmetry that we discover such forms exciting. An asymmetrical design is an attention-getter thanks to their deficiency of balance and sense of wholeness. Further, asymmetrical designs provide much more wide range than symmetrical designs. They provide a contemporary overall look and feeling to a design, and provide a sense of energy. They are also more complicated to integrate into designs.

Asymmetrical designs make effective areas which further cause to unlimited kinds of visual expression. On the opposite, if you exaggerate asymmetry your whole design can lose form and it can tire out the viewers’ eyes.

Combining the Two

There is no one recommended design element when you look at asymmetry and symmetry. This will depend completely on the design, the person making the design and the individuals who are the potential viewers. Whatever the concept behind the design though, we wish for it to be successfully attractive to the eye at the end of the day. Symmetry can persuade a designer that we need it the most. On the other part, asymmetry is an interest grabber in its own right! So we need a little bit of both really, more often than not. You need to discover a balance between symmetry and asymmetry in your designs to provide the balance as well as components that grabs the eyes.

You could decide to use symmetry where the components need to be recalled over and over (we previously talked of logos). And then you could use asymmetrical components where it is more important for the viewers to provide it short-term interest on a conscious level. You could take factors as far as to use lots of symmetrical components, which put together make an overall asymmetrical design! On the other part, why not use a number of asymmetrical components to make a symmetrical feel when put together? Both of these can perform really well!

Further, you could make use of rotational or translation oriented symmetrical shapes to provide your designs a sense of flow or rhythm. You could add a little touch here and there by splitting up symmetrical designs with lines or ‘bruises’ to provide them a sense of asymmetry while staying symmetrical in essence! One can go on and on once you learn the ease with which you can use symmetry and asymmetry in your creations!

At the end of the day, it is YOU the designer who ultimately decides which is better for your design. Have you experience in designing symmetry or asymmetry logo design?

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About the Author

Jay Arenas, June Spring Multimedia
San Jose, CA 95112

Contact Author: request info

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