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

In graphic design, you want to control every element of the user's experience as they interact with your product--including the way their eyes move across the screen and how they perceive your final product. Controlling movement is critical to ensuring that your users experience the product the way you intend, whether you want to walk them through an advertisement or put together a comic panel that will tell a comprehensive story.

Understanding movement in graphic design can help prepare you to create more effective content for your viewers. 

What Does Movement Mean in Graphic Design?

In graphic design, movement doesn't refer to the movement of the images on the screen. Instead, it refers to movement on the part of the viewer: the movement of the viewer's eyes as they move across the screen. You can guide the viewer's eye to specific elements or create a specific "movement" through the piece by tying the elements of the design together in specific ways.

How to Use Movement in Graphic Design

As you create your designs, there are several strategies you can use to control movement through the piece and encourage viewers to interact with the piece the way you intend.

1. Use repetition to guide viewers through specific areas of the piece.

Often, you may choose to use a repeating element in your design to help guide viewers from one area of it to another. Repetition creates an air of familiarity and a sense of recognition. You do not necessarily have to perfectly repeat a design element to help create that air of repetition; rather, you can simply use very close elements to help guide viewers' eyes. Repetition may also occur in specific color elements that are repeated throughout the piece. Often, graphic designers use color to help unify a piece as well as drawing a viewer's gaze to specific areas.

2. Use rhythm in your design.

Rhythm in design is the specific pattern of repetition that guides viewers through the piece. In many cases, rhythm can help evoke emotion or create the impression you want of a specific piece. You can use short, staccato rhythms or more flowing rhythms to help guide viewer interaction with the design.

3. Evoke a feeling of motion.

Static designs, unlike videos and GIFs, do not actually include movement--but with the right design elements, you can create the impression that they do. Capture your subject in mid-motion: crashing waves, dancing people, jumping animals. With those feelings of movement, you will naturally guide the viewer's gaze along the path that the subject would take, were the motion to finish.

4. Use lines effectively.

Through your designs, you may include lines that naturally guide your viewer's gaze and control their movement through the piece. Those lines may be literal lines, including arrows or other key visual elements, or they might simply be lines of design and movement through the piece that naturally guide the viewer's eyes to take a specific path as they take in the content.


Movement in graphic design helps control how your audience interacts with the piece and how they ultimately view it. With the right design elements, you can guide viewers to take the journey you want them to take as they interact with the piece. Through these strategies, you can help control the way viewers interact with the content and give them a better idea of how you want them to perceive it.

CorelDRAW can help you create and control the elements of movement in your graphic design. Take a look at our software today to start creating highly effective designs for marketing, artistic, or personal use.

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