Design Balance

I was laying in bed the other day when for no reason at all, a very strange thought came to my head: If Superman was 8 ft tall, he would be hated by all.

“That’s ridiculous!” I questioned my mind . . . but my brain persisted — If Superman was 8 feet tall, he would have stuck out like a sore thumb his entire adolescence. His height couldn’t have been hid behind clothing or glasses and everyone would’ve been able to see him for the super-sized, super powerful alien that he really was. He would have faced constant discrimination, and that would’ve most likely turned him bitter and resentful of the whole human race.

If his resentment turned in to anger, he would have become Zod. But if his bitterness turned to sadness, he probably would have left Earth to never return again.

“You’re right!” I smugly told myself. But as I held on to this thought of how such a small difference (like height) would have changed the entire dynamic of Superman’s character, I realized how, generally, if anything is tweaked even a bit, its whole structure could fall like a house of cards.

For example, if a font like Helvetica were altered even a bit, it would move away from harmony and towards unbalance.

This line of thinking quickly took a turn towards creationistic ideas . . .how, if any variable in our solar system were to be shifted by even a degree. . . .

But that was a digression . . .

It’s interesting to think, as designers, about the rules that inform our ideas. As a perpetual student of life, I will always be thinking about the principles and rules that have and will inform my designs, and also ponder how it is that I can break them to make a (positive) impact. Balance is an idea that has always intrigued me, but I would be interested to hear what everyone else thinks on the subject of design.

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