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Proportion is one of those principles of design that makes logical sense when you think about it. Proportional elements can bring a sense of balance, emphasis, and harmony to a design. As well as clue viewers into a design, so they know which items are more important than others are. In web design, we can define proportion as the visual relationship between two or more things in terms of their size, number, or degree. Another way to think of proportion is as tiered dominance.
Where elements relate to each other in a way that creates a sense of hierarchy and order. In fact, we can say that proportion really goes hand in hand with the principles of emphasis and unity. For instance, to achieve proportion while adding emphasis, you can apply dominance to the shape, size, color, order, or direction of one or more elements in your design. So, let's now explore some ways that you can achieve proportion by scaling objects and text.
First, with text, as you may have seen in an earlier lesson. When you tier the size of your fonts, you can really help viewers identify the important parts at a glance. In this case, the Heading 1 is large and easy to read as are the Heading 2's of the tops of each column. With shape, you can create proportion with size by scaling objects in set increments. For instance, you can scale thumbnail images from 100% to 75%, 50%, and 25%.
Or you could scale your buttons down by 10 or 20% increments, like this. Another really popular way to achieve proportion, is to use a really large image with a small amount of text, like so. You could also balance a handful of smallish graphics or text with a lot of surrounding white space. Or you could work with narrower content columns with even more white space. Another thing you might try is to pair some flat design elements with drop shadow elements like these.
Additionally, you could work with a limited palette and separate your content using proportional blocks of color, like so. When you do scale objects and text proportionately for your web layouts, think about what it is you're trying to communicate and size accordingly. Take advantage of the elements of design such as size, direction, shape, order, color, and quantity. Make the most important thing the largest thing on the page. Then, scale the rest of your content down systematically so that visitors can easily see where to focus their attention.
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