Balance in Graphic Design: Understanding What it Means and How to Use It

If you're looking to improve your composition, visual balance is most likely the starting point. People like it when whatever they see is convenient. That's why there's so much emphasis on maintaining a balance in design on your images and other artworks.

What Does Balance Mean in Graphic Design?

Balance definition in graphic design is offsetting how the graphical weight of components balance with each other on either side of a design to create satisfaction, completion, and cohesion. Your composition should balance diagonally, horizontally, vertically, or foreground versus background to achieve visual balance.

If your designs have no sense of balance, the viewer will not know where to look and may not understand the message you're trying to convey since fewer interest areas can go unnoticed quickly.

Some of the components you have to balance to achieve your desired outcome are:

  • Space
  • Objects
  • Texture (rough versus smooth)
  • Colors (transparency, Saturation, hue, value)
  • Moving versus still

Before creating any design, you should consider the graphic design principles, including unity, contrast, emphasis, and, most importantly, balance.

How to Use Balance in Graphic Design

Balance in graphic design is found in the layout. The element's position on the page dictates how balanced the page looks. The most challenging aspect to attaining visual balance in graphic design is the fold. You may initially create a perfectly balanced layout, but it appears off-balance as the reader scrolls down the page.

Your main concern could be how you can have balance in design and at the same time have a focal point and contrast since they appear to be opposite of balance. Having balance doesn't limit you from having a focal point or contrast. However, it would be best if you came up with a way to manipulate and distribute other design elements to maintain a perfect balance.

There are different ways to balance a graphic design.

Symmetrical Balance

Symmetrical balance means even distribution of the visual weight. If you draw a straight line through the design's center in any direction, and the optical weight will appear evenly distributed. Hence, the composition looks more orderly and stable.

Symmetrical balance in design allows the viewer's eye to achieve a stronger sense of the message being conveyed. Identifying the design's middle point and mirroring the weight on either side using different techniques will keep your design captivating.

Asymmetrical Balance

In some cases, balance in design doesn't require every element to be distributed evenly. You can achieve balance through asymmetry too. If you intend to create elements imbalance in the design deliberately, it would be best to use the asymmetrical balance. It creates tension and gives a sense of movement to your composition. To achieve this, one side can feel lighter than the other as long as it maintains the balance.

Mosaic Balance

If you want a graphic design that appears noisy at first, mosaic balance is the option. It looks like organized chaos due to its distinct lack of focal point, but if you look closely, you will realize that it works as a team when the components share some consistent emphasis.

Discordant Balance

You use discordant when you want to break the rules. That is when you aim to create discomfort to your design viewers. It could be you want them to stop and focus on a specific visual weight like a brand name or move and take action.


Understanding balance in graphic designs takes you to new levels of experimenting. You're aware that every element you incorporate has a sense of weight; therefore, the way you balance those elements will determine your composition appearance.

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