Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Rhythm in design

By looking at how points combine to create lines - how lines suggest directions and both can combine to create shapes we gain a sense of how significant visual elements in the image can be spaced across the image area to suggest rhythm. Like in music, repetition is a key aspect of rhythm, but alone it does not guarantee rhythm in an image.


With visual rhythm in an image, there is a direct analogy with musical notation, but where as in music, rhythm is built on time intervals - in image design it is based on spatial relationships of repeating visual elements across the surface of the picture.

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Like with a piece of music, an optical beat can be created that suggests the predictability of regularity or the surprise of syncopation.

By extending the key elements to the edge of the frame a scene of continuation can be implied. Rhythm can give strength to an image, the strategy has momentum.


When we create images which have perfect sense of rhythm the image can become predictable and boring, and we might like to experiment with breaking the rhythm.

While you can enhance the rhythmic effect of many subjects by compressing perspective with a telephoto lens, the use a wide angle can work well for other subjects - it depends upon your subject and your choice of perspective.



For the entropy series I used three frames to create a panorama with repetitive elements to develop a sense of visual rhythm


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