Liberty Enlightening the World

Liberty Enlightening the World
La Liberté éclairant le monde

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Gutenberg Diagram

Flow and the Gutenberg Diagram

FLOW AND THE GUTENBERG DIAGRAM

The direction that a reader's eyes follow across a design is known as the "flow".
Edmund Arnold, (Wikipedia) a US typographer, described the most common eye flow (see diagram, shown by the arrow) as the "Axis of Orientation".
Arnold proposed that the eye enters at the POA - (Primary Optical Area) and exits at the (Terminal Anchor).
Arnold also identified two dead spots as marked by the crosses. The finer arrows in an arc towards the middle right are considered to be backwards movements that the eye avoids.
This "flow" is universal (for Western Culture readers, the flow differs between cultures. Here's a study on cross-cultural differences in flow)
Reference:
The Design Manual, David Whitbread, UNSW Press (2001) ISBN: 0868406589
Flow and Web Design
View this PowerPoint presentation (1.8MB) on layouts for web design. It's a little dated in presentation but the concepts are timeless.
Summary
This lesson introduced the grid and how it can be used to layout a page for both print and web publishing. It also introduced "flow" and described the Gutenburg diagram which is used to describe the natural flow for a user reading a page.

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