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Let’s talk symmetry. There are multiple variations of symmetry like rotational, translational and reflectional symmetry. For now, let’s look at the most commonly used symmetry in graphic design, and that is reflectional symmetry. This is essentially where two halves of an image are identical to each other.

If you’re still unsure about the concept of reflectional symmetry, then have a look at the picture of the Monkey on the top of this page. Do you notice that the left half of the monkey’s face is the same as the right half? The only difference is that it’s flipped. If you are a designer or a creative, then I’m sure you have used it in your artwork and designs before. If you’re not into art or design, you can see this reflectional symmetry in all the various emojis as well as famous company logos. Mercedes, McDonalds and Starbucks are a small fraction of a list of well-known companies that make use of symmetry in their logos.

So is it true that using symmetry is always better in design?

The answer is NO. Symmetry often looks better than asymmetry, and this is because as human beings we often find symmetrical shapes and objects more visually appealing. The reason for this is that we like to see balance in the objects around us. Balance is achieved in other ways too. Designers often use grids to achieve this balance. It makes it way easier to have objects or paths in the design well proportioned to each. As a result, the whole image seems balanced and visually comforting without using reflectional symmetry.

So when Should Symmetry Be used?

There is no rule as to when you should use symmetry. A good time to make use of it would be when you’re trying to show stability or reliability. Whenever I find any of my design work to feel disproportionate, using reflectional symmetry seems to elevate the design.

Give it a go, and make use of symmetry in your design/artwork and you will soon notice that it is often better received by the public. If you would like to learn more about this topic a great book to start reading today is The Symmetries of Things, which highlights the different types found in nature and art.’

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