Principal of Closure

Synonyms: Law of Closure

The principle of closure states that when we look at a complex group of visual elements, we tend to look for a single and recognizable pattern. The human brain tries to fill in the gaps in order to perceive different objects as a close unit.

Picture by Clara Rua

Look at this image. Surely you see a panda. At the same time it is just a group of spots. This is how the principle of closure works

In Practice

  1. Brand Logos

    The principle of closure is applied in the design of logos. It helps to create interesting and engaging solutions. For example, WWF logo with panda. Yes, we love pandas!

  2. Interface Icons

    Icons should be simple and understandable to all the users. It is not easy to make a good icon as we have a limited space for them and can not detalise the image. Here  the principle of closure helps. We reduce icons to their basic elements and build a composition that helps people to recognize objects.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Make sure that users perceive the elements as a whole. Provide enough information and details

  2. Use positive and negative space. Pay attention to hidden shapes in negative space or within type

  3. Use contrast to shape the closure in your design. Black and white are best for this purpose, but experiment with other colors

  4. If you use simple templates, remove or reduce design elements

  5. If you use complex patterns, use the transition elements to help users to form a pattern


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