# Gestalt Theory – Week 2

GESTALT THEORY

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”

For me it means that what we see is just an interpretation of what we know. Our brain search for patterns and will always try to simplify objects in order to rapidly understand what we see. Sometimes it needs to imagine parts to make a sense of it. In other words, an image needs to be as clear as possible in order to avoid confusion or misunderstanding.

GESTALT PRINCIPLES:

THE LAW OF PRÄGNANZ.
We tend to see simpler shapes.

In this case we first see a car.

THE LAW OF PROXIMITY.
We group elements that are near each other

Here all the elements make a “U” letter

THE LAW OF SIMILARITY.
Similar elements that share shapes, colours, sizes, texture or movement, tends to groups together

Here in the first example the two elements inside the white box are repeated in the text making a link between them by its similarity.
Likewise the lines and dots in the second image make and island on the sea by its difference.

THE LAW OF CLOSURE.
Our brain tends to fill the gaps making a picture out of empty space. We imagine and complete things that are not there.

Here we imagine that we see Johnnie Walker´s face and trousers.

THE LAW OF COMMON FATE.
Elements moving together or showing a similar apparent movement, tends to make a group. Even if they do not share shapes, colours, sizes or texture, they would still be considered a group.

PARALLELISM.
Similar to the law of common fate, object that are parallel to each other are interpreted as a groups. It also applies if the lines are curved or shaped.

THE LAW OF CONTINUITY.
The eye tries to follow and continue a smooth path or order.

THE LAW OF SYMMETRY.
Symmetrical figures tend to place and group themselves over the background.

THE LAW OF FIGURE-GROUND
Shapes that are clearly in focus will predominate over a more unbounded or vaguely one. This will bring the sharp ones to front and will send the others back.

Here we see a rhino and a giraffe in front of an elephant like shape. This also makes a kind of back and forward effect.

LAW OF UNIFORM CONNECTEDNESS.
Shapes can be linked and be perceived as connected together making a group.

Here we see 9 squares making a bigger one. However 6 of those shapes are organized in a trio and a pair, showing that they are respectively together. Even if the linking object were detached they would still be seen as a group.

LAW OF COMMON REGIONS.
Elements that are group together can be set apart if they are enclosed in another object.

The mountains and the valley are separated by the white line making them 2 separate groups.In the second example the circles are joining the objects together although they hold different elements.
The third example shows “NEBRASKA” but the word “RA” is completely separated because of the 2 white square brackets around it making a box.

LAW OF FOCAL POINTS.
When an element of a composition breaks the repetition it becomes the focal point.

Here we see a “P” that is breaking the ground by its different shape and colour.

LAW OF PAST EXPERIENCE.
What we have learned at an earlier stage give us understanding on what we see.

Here we see familiar shapes and colours that could link our thoughts to danger, commands, be aware, or traffic rules. Those experiences can link element between their selves. However it also depends of many external inputs such as cultural background, regions, and many others.

IDEAS BEHIND GESTALT:
EMERGENCE. (the whole is identified before the parts)

REIFICATION. (Our mind fills in the gaps)

“For instance, a triangle is perceived in picture A, though no triangle is there. In pictures B and D the eye recognizes disparate shapes as “belonging” to a single shape, in C a complete three-dimensional shape is seen, where in actuality no such thing is drawn.” Wikipedia.
MULTI-STABILITY. (the mind seeks to avoid uncertainty)

INVARIANCE. (we’re good at recognizing similarities and differences)

http://www.lynda.com/Dreamweaver-tutorials/Gestalt-principles/82822/97990-4.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure%E2%80%93ground_%28perception%29

http://ucomm.unl.edu/our-brand

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology#Gestalt_laws_of_grouping

https://www.pinterest.com/j250pinterest/semiotics-gestalt-cognitive-processes/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/518195500845315863/

http://es.99designs.com/designer-blog/2014/08/12/gestalt-principles-psychology-design/