is the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees. This order is created by the visual contrast between forms in a field of perception. Objects with highest contrast to their surroundings are perceived first.
Based on 19th century German Gestalt psychological theory
- innate in the human brain
- to “structure individual elements, shapes or forms into a coherent, organized whole.”
- Designers attempt to control visual hierarchy to guide the eye to information in a specific order for a specific purpose.
a series of lines (usually horizontal and vertical) that seek to define a space / page in order to better organize visual elements (e.g., text, images)
- typographic grids for page layout
- character lines for 3d sculpture / industrial design
visual language is a system of communicating using visual elements
- utilizes same concepts for visual hierarchy (color, size, shape etc), but orders the weighting of the heirarchy.
- Gauges the use of contrast relative to multiple applications
- used effectively, systems can retain a consistent aesthetic, tone or meaning
- used often in branding and marketing materials
- can establish visual, graphic rules whereby further variants of a design are constructed