proportion in graphic design a fundamental concept

7 Proportion in Graphic Design: A Fundamental Concept

A variety of academic disciplines are used in the discipline of design. Designing is essentially interdisciplinary. It necessitates a thorough understanding of biology, society, current events, technology, and supreme aesthetics. Composition and proportion in graphic design can be found in everything we sense, including music, art, content creation, and even certain foods and drinks. Mathematics, like design, is all around us. It appears in various fields, including visual arts, science, and aesthetics. As a result, designing has much more to do with mathematics than one might initially think.

Composition and proportion in graphic design are two strict rules that govern a design’s visual appeal. It doesn’t take a sophisticated mind to understand that proportion and composition are both applications of mathematics. Therefore, having a solid understanding of geometry is essential for creating visually appealing designs. While proportion in graphic design and geometry are intimately related, the composition requires some knowledge of the topic you’re working on. This article goes into great length on the significance of these two ideas and how they affect design.

Proportion in Graphic Design

Simply speaking, proportion in graphic design is all about how different parts of a composition relate to one another in size, scale, form, and quantity. Designers employ proportion in graphic design to infuse their work with feelings like perspective, realism, balance, and aspects of surprise. It is a crucial design guideline to identify the aspects of attention. A well-proportioned graphic design looks right and achieves balance and harmony among the elements. It provides a clear picture of what should be seen and offers your design a visual hierarchy.

When maintaining proportions with other elements in a composition, the major issue is how to do it. This indicates that it must be understood in terms of the context and accepted standards. Proportion in graphic design is frequently overlooked until something is out of proportion. It is said to be “out of proportion” when the proportions between two objects seem off or unbalanced. Proportion is frequently overlooked until something is out of proportion. It is said to be “out of proportion” when the proportions between two objects seem off or unbalanced. We can examine proportion in composition in two different ways.

1. Proportion based on context

We refer to an elephant as looking “out of proportion” when we observe one in person and note that its trunk is unusually smaller than that of a typical-sized elephant. We make decisions based on the standard and the presumptions made. The situation determines this ratio.

2. Proportion based on a relationship

The idea of proportion based on relationship is another way to look at it. Similarly, we refer to an elephant’s eye as being “out of proportion” if it is larger than the rest of its characteristics. This is because its size is very different from what is expected, and we make assumptions about how it will interact with other facial features.

Achieve Proportion in Graphic Design

1. Dimensions


Design is proportional because of the magnitude of the components used. For example, in your design, the proportion in graphic design can be distorted if the house size is smaller than a person’s size. Designers also consider the element’s height, weight, and depth in addition to its size. Because of this, the design looks more professional, and the viewer can identify with the image.

2. Size Comparison

Since size plays such a significant proportion, it is equally crucial to consider the sizes of the areas that various design elements occupy. We must be careful not to differentiate too much between different areas because doing so could separate the pieces and prevent the development of a relationship between them. For instance, if one eye is smaller, the face appears unbalanced.

3. Elements

Understanding how the components used in the composition relate to one another. Consider a leaf as an illustration. When a leaf is placed next to a tree, it should be smaller in size but larger when the same leaf falls over an ant.

4. Similarity

The similarity in the design is achieved by arranging related parts that have the same characteristics or share some attributes. A proportional graphic design is similar.

5. Harmony

When all the elements in a design work together harmoniously, the design is successful. Agreement in shapes and sizes highlights how similar all the elements are. A harmonious interaction between the elements is created if one element flows into the position and space of another element. Imagine a half-cut orange. The circular orange perfectly confines triangular wedges, giving a perfect balance.

6. Ratio


A decent proportion comes to mind when considering an equitable distribution of the components. Focus is placed on each element by defining main and minor element sizes. But when elements are of the same size, the result is monotony, whereas abrupt changes in size result in discord. As a result, a design that follows the golden ratio or a ratio close to it has perfect proportions.

7. Subtlety

A proportionate design is surely created by extensive mathematical calculation. The design, however, fails if that geometrical arrangement is made obvious. One glance at the design should not reveal the mathematical work that went into it because subtlety is beauty.

Composition in Graphic Design

When all of the individual components of a design come together to form a whole, that process is known as composition. Images, colors, graphics, text, and other elements are combined through composition to create a unified design. All design elements must be distributed, aligned, and combined attractively and efficiently for a composition to be successful. All artistic rules should be followed in the arrangement of the elements. Therefore, even the most attractive components cannot make the design effective if the composition is off.

Because composition controls how elements are ordered, it is significant. This configuration significantly impacts the design’s look, feel, and reflection. The happiest circumstances, for instance, cannot turn a story about a child’s first day into a cheerful one if it is written in a depressing environment.


In conclusion, while you are designing a composition, it is crucial to consider proportion. Design considerations of mathematics, aesthetics, and overall cultural cohesion are crucial. How a design is put together and viewed heavily depends on its composition and proportions. The aesthetics of each component and how it affects the total are influenced by proportion. Contrarily, composition is the art of combining all proportionate aspects to maximize a design’s efficacy.

Are you looking for a designer or illustrator? Arturo Back Office can help! Contact us through email, and we will answer all your concerns about graphic design and brand imaging.