The Continuation Design Principle

Continuation Design Principle

In the past couple if weeks, I’ve covered the closure design principle and the proximity design principle. This week, we’re talking about the continuation design principle. The continuation design principle means that the edges of objects align in a way that leads your eye to a certain part of the design. You can use the continuation design principle in a couple of different ways.

Continuation Design Principle: Stars

The stars all follow a path, which you can see with the red line I placed over the path. You can see that these all draw your eye toward the center. this may be a little advanced, so I’ll simplify it with the example below. The stars form a line that leads your eye to the circle below.

Continuation design principle Single

Continuity can occur across many objects, whether they are the same color, or not. Sometimes you can have continuity strictly with the alignment of edges. This is important, because you can’t always have shapes that are the same color. Most of the time you’ll have to use multiple objects of different size, shape, and color. You can see this in the example below. Your eye is lead across the image to the circle at the end. The circle breaks the continuity, so that’s where your eye stops. If the circle wasn’t there, your eye would continue off of the page.

Continuation Design Principle: Example

The IBM logo, created by Paul Rand, is an amazing example of continuity. Even though the letters are all separated by space, the blue lines are seen as continuing across the letters. You honestly don’t look at the logo as an I with lines, a B with Lines, and an M with separate lines. You see it as the lines spanning across all of the letters at once. This is continuity at its finest.

Continuation Design Principle: IBM Continuity

Understanding the way the eye and the brain works is an essential part of design. Any way that you can leverage the different design principles, the better your design will be overall. That’s why these principles are so important and the designs that use them are so effective.