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Create a Tasty Brand Like a Chef using the Gestalt Principles

By January 27, 2023June 5th, 2023No Comments

As a brand designer, I have always tried my best to pay as much attention to the purpose of design as to its visual appearance. Learning the Gestalt approach helped me to balance this a lot easier.

Gestalt is a design theory and methodology that focuses on the whole design rather than individual parts. The design is holistic and simple. Gestalt design principles include proximity, similarity, continuation, closure, and figure/ground.

Or an easier way to put it – 

Imagine you’re a chef and your brand design is a delicious meal. The same way a meal is made up of different ingredients and elements, a brand design is made up of text, images, and colors. When you use Gestalt design, all the ingredients in your meal work together to create a delicious, cohesive meal.

By grouping vegetables together on a plate, the proximity principle prevents them from wandering off and hanging out with the meat. Things stay organized and easy to understand when they’re close together.

Using the same type of sauce on all the different dishes creates harmony and continuity. Continuation is arranging your food so the diner’s fork moves through the plate, creating a sense of flow. Leaving a bit of space on the plate can give the illusion that something is missing, leaving the diner wanting more. Like a perfectly cooked steak, the figure or ground should stand out and be the star of the dish. It’s all about creating delicious, visually pleasing and effective brand design, just like a tasty meal. A successful brand designer should always be willing to taste test, adjust, and tweak the recipe to make sure it’s just right before serving it up.

Gestalt is a German word that means shape or form. In psychology, it’s a holistic approach to understanding perception, cognition, and behavior. In Gestalt thinking, the whole experience is more important than individual elements.

Gestalt psychology was developed by a group of German psychologists in the early 20th century, including Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, and Wolfgang Köhler. They were influenced by Immanuel Kant, a philosopher who emphasized the mind’s ability to organize and structure sensory data. Gestalt psychology relies on several key principles, including similarity, proximity, and closure. The mind organizes and interprets sensory information using these principles, and they’re often used to explain why visual illusions work.

There are two key elements to brand design: form and function. Although both are significant, designers and clients often prioritize them differently. Let’s take a closer look at what form and function mean in brand design, and how they can be balanced to make a brand that works. Form refers to the visual elements of a brand, like its logo, typography, and color scheme. When people think of a brand, they usually think of these elements. These are the visual cues that help people remember a brand. A brand’s form is often considered to be its most prominent aspect, since it’s what people see first and what they remember. A brand’s function, on the other hand, refers to its practical aspects. A brand’s ability to communicate its message effectively includes things like ease of use, accessibility, and accessibility. As it’s not always as visible or memorable as form, function is often overlooked. However, it’s just as relevant, if not more so, than form when it comes to creating a brand that is effective and successful.

When creating a brand, it’s important to balance form and function. It may be visually appealing, but it won’t communicate its message or reach your target audience if it’s all form and no function. In contrast, a brand that’s all function and no form may be effective at communicating its message but unmemorable and unappealing.

Start by focusing on function when designing a brand. This means identifying the key message and audience for the brand, and making sure that the design is able to effectively communicate that message and reach that audience. Once the functional aspects of the brand have been established, the designer can then work on the visual elements of the brand. This is to make sure that they are cohesive and consistent with the brand’s message and audience.

Design thinking is another way to balance form and function. Start with the user’s needs and desires, then work backwards to design something that meets those needs and desires. The designer is able to take into account both the form and function of the brand when creating the design, so the brand is both functional and visually appealing.

The design of a brand should be both functional and aesthetic.

In brand design, the balance between form and function is crucial. Form refers to the visual appearance of a brand, while function refers to the practical purpose and effectiveness of a brand. Successful brand design strikes a balance between these two elements, creating a design that is both visually appealing and practical.

Form, or the visual appearance of a brand, is significant because it creates an initial impression and sets the tone for the brand. A visually striking design can grab attention and create a memorable experience for the viewer. A well-designed logo, for example, can communicate the brand’s message and values instantly, leaving a lasting impression in the viewer’s mind.

Function, or the practical purpose and effectiveness of a brand, is also crucial. A brand’s design must be functional, meaning it must serve a purpose and be simple to use and understand. A strong brand design should be easy to read and understand, and should clearly communicate the brand’s message and values. A functional brand design should also be easy to use across various mediums, such as print, digital, and social media.

When designing a brand, it’s critical to strike a balance between form and function. A design that is too focused on form may be visually striking but may not effectively communicate the brand’s message and values. On the other hand, a design that is too focused on function may be practical and easy to use but may lack visual appeal.

One way to strike this balance is to use Gestalt design principles. These principles focus on the relationships between the parts of a design and the overall unity and simplicity of the design. By using Gestalt design principles, a designer can create a design that is both visually pleasing and functional. Brand design should be easy to read, understand and apply across various mediums, and should clearly communicate the brand’s message and values.

So there you have it, my secret recipe for cooking up a tasty, highly functioning brand identity and website.

Kris Byers

I am the owner and brand designer at Horrible Brands where we build brands that turn expertise into profit and have helped hundreds of small businesses develop their brand identity and messaging. My goal is to clarify and simplify the concept of branding so that other business owners can understand the importance of building a strong brand.

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