Use the Magic of Scale in Your Design

by Christine Johns | Mar 29, 2019 | Branding, Creative

Have you ever stared at a design you created and thought, “It is okay, but it needs … something.” Countless times I’ve spent hours on a design, only to discover it just somehow seemed … well, flat.

When it comes to content design, whether it is digital or print, the scale you use in the text, images, and shapes all work together to determine how your design will turn out. No matter the size, the scale of elements in your project is a determining factor in how your design will translate to the human eye.

If you have come this far in the article only to wonder what scale is and why it is so important to use, here’s a simple definition: scale is the size you choose of a drawn or placed object in proportion to the background on which it is placed. Scale can be used to create visual impact and tension by establishing depth. It can also:

  • Create contrast and proportion
  • Add emphasis
  • Demonstrate balance and order
  • Create tension through contrasting sizes of objects

When you have reached a creative impasse, and you look for a way to break through, the use of scale is an effective and proven method to breathe life into your design, and also communicate at various levels.

Here are some simple and effective ways to apply scale to your designs and create graphics that pack a punch.

Scale is adaptable.

The beauty of scale is its relative adaptability. When you introduce elements to a design, whether it is type, photo, or object, you can adjust the size of these elements to create a depth of field, which allows other elements in your design to seem closer or further away. Adding transparency adds further depth.

With scale, you can bend the rules. Experiment with unexpected sizes and shapes and watch your design transform before your eyes.


Scale can bring movement.

You can also add depth as well as motion to your design by rotating objects and staggering them.


Scale creates priority.

Ever heard the term “hierarchy?” The principle of hierarchy assigns order and priority to the elements in your design, and makes it easy to understand.

When you have a type-based design, for example, it is important to establish hierarchy in the graphic to emphasize what your audience needs to read first. With the assignment of colors, complementary typefaces, and size, you can create a design with purpose and flair.


These are just some ways you can use scale to experiment and add power and punch to your designs. If and when you ask the question, “What does it need?” consider introducing or adjusting scale. It can give your design a much-needed boost!

Does your ministry or organization need a design overhaul?
Are you ready to see the “new you?”

Infinity Concepts can help! Contact us today.

Christine Johns
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