15 Golden Rules of Visual Hierarchy [INFOGRAPHIC]

by . March 9th, 2017

Graphic design is all about the visuals. This infographic breaks down 15 of the most important ideas in visual arts and design.

Designmantic’s infographic on “The 15 Golden Rules Of Visual Hierarchy” has been floating around the internet for some time. See if you agree with it!


15 Rules of Visual Hierarchy According to Designmantic:

  • Focal point
  • Movement
  • Golden Ratio
  • Balance
  • Repetition
  • White Space
  • Visual Triangle
  • Texture
  • Types
  • Randomness
  • Rules
  • Alignment
  • Contrast
  • Rule of Thirds

What you should know:

  • Calling these items “rules” is actually grossly inaccurate. Unless you mean “rule” in a loose way, such as “rule of thumb”. These are merely guidelines.
  • Sticking to guidelines is a good way to be able to create quality work fast. But not examining their applicability in each situation is a great way to be consistently mediocre.
  • Focal points and good use of white space often (but not always) go hand in glove.
  • Movement can often be refined with testing. This is especially true in web Design. Learning A-B testing methodologies can be a huge plus in that field.
  • “Negative space” is another term for “white space”. Not in all contexts, but for most purposes, close enough.
  • The rule of thirds is a concept that you hear time and time again in photography, but this is mostly because photos typically have a set size and layout. This idea still applies to other visual media.
  • Try not to get all tied up in the “visual” aspects of the design. In print for instance, the actual tactile feedback and textures of the card and paper stock can be a major component. The same can also be said about sound (how “pleasantly” they crumple) and the specific smells of of your print to some extent.
  • Technically, there are no rules. But it’s difficult to break boundaries tastefully or in a way that makes sense when you don’t even know what boundaries exist.

What other “visual rules” should we follow? Comment below!



Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.