Design is, literally, a colorful field.

It is immensely varied and mixing some of the concepts together will make new hues and accents that give aesthetic weight.

Visual weight is an immensely useful concept that has always been a part of Interior Design Basics.

Visual weight gives life to the principle of alternation, which is one of the Principles of Design Rhythm.

In fact, visual weight can also be used for progression, which is another principle in making designs that have great rhythm.

By using alternation and progression, the result of the design becomes much more thematically consistent and rhythmic.

Can you imagine color being heavy? Or how about color producing sounds?

Color can give that interesting phenomenon if proper elements of design are incorporated.

But first of all, we have to ask what is visual weight?

Visual Weightlifting

Visual weight is basically making one object stand out by directing the focus of the perceiver to the focal object.  Through proper use of this concept you can say that the artist, such as yourself, are adding mass to something that should not have mass.

How is mass added to something that does not have weight?

Mass is not literally added, but focus is.

So, what we know about visual weight or mass is that it is a necessary concept to use when you want your design to stand out by adding a point of focus.

What do we do now?


We apply visual weight to your design.

Balance definition in art can give you a holistic mood or theme, but adding a visual weight to a perfectly balanced design will give your design personality.

Add a touch of your personality with the application of a balanced visual design. For example, add a lighter hue of the color against the background that has a darker hue of the same color to make it very visually pleasing, and at the same time, coherent in telling the story of the design or in communicating the mood or purpose of that piece of art.

Visual Weight Application

Moving on towards the application of adding visual weight, using the three principles of design rhythm as well as the principles of emphasis and unity would be a great way to plan and start making your own design.

To give a little background on the usefulness of rhythm, imagine a pattern.

Let us say that you want to add an air of playfulness. You can add a playful resin by designing the walls to have a pattern that repeats itself like tiles that are alternating.

By doing so, you are using the principle of alternation, repetition, and linearity.

On the other hand, if you want your room to look bigger, then you can add two mirrors. In that sense, the mirrors will take care of giving a visual sense of big space. This is done by an almost infinite number of reflections as long as there is a source of light.

How Do We Add Visual Weight for This Kind of Design?

Going back to the example of a playful mood in a room, you can add a lighter color tile to the pattern that is repeating. This lighter hue of the tile will give a mood of lightness or of having no burdens. Due to that, you give the rhythm of playfulness through the alternating tiles, but you give it character by adding a lighter hue.

Visual weight is almost synonymous with the principle of emphasis in art and design. The difference is that the principle of emphasis can be applied by using something other than color, like a differing pattern that breaks the rhythm. While sometimes visual weight does not interrupt the rhythm and is subtle, emphasis is, by its nature, antagonistic to the pattern or rhythm.

Visual weight is not only seen through color. There are other ways to do so.

For instance, a strategic placement of a sculpture on the left side rather than the center may break the rhythm, but it adds weight to the sculpture since it did not conform to expectation.

Other ways to add visual weight is to:

  1. Add contrast by increasing or decreasing the size of the object.
  2. If using patterns, increase the density in the focal point.
  3. Give it the expectation of weight. For example, put the focal point on the ground since the “gravity” of our sight is more rooted to the ground.
  4. Use a different medium. For instance, if it is a photo, you can add text. If the design is about water, you can disrupt the flow by adding stones.

To be an expert on visual weight, try to think less of patterns and more of focus. Start by thinking of the rhythm, then use a focal object to disrupt that rhythm while still being united.

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