3 Ways to Create Movement in your Designs

I had a great email inquiry from a viewer the other day asking about how he could incorporate movement into his magazine layouts. This is a great topic and one of the best elements of design. In fact, it's so great that it's a principle of design.  That means it's one of those rules designers abide by and try to incorporate into their designs. So how do you go about creating that perfect sense of movement in your designs?

Step 1: Chose an action packed photo

There's no doubt that photos are the best way to capture movement. From active people to running animals, you have so many options of high energy photos to choose from. Not only will action packed photos provide instant movement to your layout, placing them properly will enhance the impact. Scale your photo to span across two page spreads to draw  the reader from one page to the other. Stack multiple photos. Maybe the person in a bottom photo could be looking up at a person looking down at them from the above photo. Want mega impact? Cut a part of your photo out so it looks like the subject is literally jumping off the page. This works well for cars and animals. Be creative!

Step 2: Add repeating elements

Repeating patterns and elements in your designs make an otherwise stale and stagnant photo pop with motion. Consider photos with patterns or repeating elements as well as direction. The cathedral photo above has multiple repeating elements from the columns to the ceiling. All these elements offer a consistent direction for the reader's eye. You can also use design elements like swirls, dotted lines or symbols around your pages to create movement. Repeating elements don't always need to reside in a photograph.

Step 3: Think perspective

Perspective is a great way to create a sense of movement in your designs. It tricks the eye into thinking "movement."  Bridges vanishing into the horizon, text at an angle and arrows all help direct the reader's eye around your page. Cropping also plays a major role in depth and motion perception. The closed-in view of this bridge sends the eye jetting down the path to the back of the image. The repeating elements along the railing also guides the eye all in one direction.

You're turn!

Careful placement of images using perspective coupled with repeating patterns and action will all help create that coveted sense of motion in your designs. How do you incorporate movement in your designs? Share your image links in the comments below. I might just pick a few to feature in an upcoming episode!