DESIGN GUIDES > 9 Ways Visual Perception Shapes Reality

Pattern seeking behavior observed by psychologists provides evidence of how the eye and brain operate together to organize visual experiences. These behaviors are known as Gestalt Perceptual Factors.

1. Figure / Ground
Fundamental visual law of perception allowing basic contrasts. Foreground figures or positive shapes are experienced against a different color or tone ground, field or background.
2. Equilibrium
Psychological / visual fields tend toward order, symmetry and balance. Natural forces such as gravity, pressure and heat can make shapes more compact, closed, equal and efficient.
3. Closure
Closed shapes are more stable. Shapes are visually connected or closed in the eye.
4. Proximity
Shape groups are favored by the eye according to nearness of parts. Shapes that are close to each other or in proximity are perceived as a group.
5. Amodal Perception
The hidden rear faces of objects are perceived to exist although they can’t be seen. Partially occluded (hidden from view) objects are perceived to be complete.
6. Continuation
Leads the eye to continue along, behind and beyond.The hidden rear faces of objects are perceived to exist although they can’t be seen.
7. Similarity
Identical or similar units are perceived to be in groups.
8. Isomorphic Correspondence
Reaches back in time to evoke corresponding emotions through previous experiences.
9. Simultaneous Contrast
A light shape appears lighter on a dark background and vice versa. Each color intensity perception is simultaneously heightened, especially between close (but mot exact) complimentary contrasts.