Exercise 3 – Sean, Greg, Nic, Ivan, Iva

Figure Group Relationship

“Elements are perceived as either figures (objects in space), or ground (the rest of the perceptual field).” This states that an object in space has no reference point for us to locate it in space. Whereas if it has a ground or other feature denoting a geological structure, it is possible to have something to gage it’s placement. Figure is defined by shape and structure. Ground elements are without shape and continue beyond the figures without a clear position in space. An example of a figure might be a set of letters in a logo or a picture of an animal. Whereas ground, might be a perspective of a field or landscape. It is the relation between these two elements that is called the Figure-ground relationship. You can test this yourself; Stand back from a door about 10 feet, cover up the top and bottom of a door with your hand so you can’t see the ground or the ceiling. Without this reference of the top and bottom of the door is, the field of vision it becomes considerably harder to find the door in space. If you can still see the top and bottom of the door on the floor your mind can better judge the distance.

Rubin’s dynamic black and white illustration is great physical representation of Figure Ground Relationship. When we first glance upon with this piece, our eyes are confused on which specific point to focus on. The contour and the shape within the picture lead our eyes to the vase in the center. While as our eyes follow the contour and shape of the vase, we realize it’s not the only subject matter within the picture. Our mind begins to recognize the profile of two faces that are created from the negative space of the vase. Our brain places more emphasis on the subject that contains the most contours and most interesting shape. By placing more dynamic contours, and more creative shape, we can make an object more appealing to the brain. The brain does this in order to distinguish the figure from the background. In most pieces, the figure is easy to spot out from the background and contains most of the emphasis in the picture. The background is suited to compliment the figure and create further emphasis. In this instance, it is much more difficult to distinguish the figure from the background because both elements have more balanced emphasis, and are essentially hidden within the picture.

Good Continuation

Good continuation, a part of gestalt theory that refers to graphic elements and their interaction with one another. This is an important aspect of design for multiple practices. Good communication refers to the arrangement of elements in order to create a unified outcome that is easy to understand. If we were to write this paragraph, but have no order or structure, you would not be able to read it. Good communication is making sure that things are unified and flow. It in a way guides the viewer and fills in the blanks blanks. Another simpler example would be this set of lines is positioned to allude that they form a complete square. When in reality, it’s a set of four lines strategically placed so the viewer makes that connection.


The Golden Arches are probally one of the most recognizizable symbols in the food industry. Once a segment is removed, we are still able to regonzie the symbol and physiologically add in the missing segment.


– http://www.andyrutledge.com/gestalt-principles-3.php

– http://www.bastoky.com/GoodContinue.htm

– Information provided by Jesse

One Response to “Exercise 3 – Sean, Greg, Nic, Ivan, Iva”

  1.   Irakliy Kontselidze Says:

    Im sorry about the cropped image and the bad quality of the video.
    But i have the original files and i hope to have them up in a proper format by tomorrow.