Elements that look the same are related.|
In the above example we have three pairs of text listed (Cow/Woman, Boy/Man and Bat/Cat).
Despite the fact that the pairs are positioned far from each other and are not in a frame, we still see them as connected, through the use of color.
We make this division of the text because of:
The law of similarity.
If things look like each other, they are connected or related.
In the above example, the use of colors allows for us to break the Law of closeness.
Of course it would be best if we could have the pairs positioned close to each other. But if a conflict arises - the more obvious the difference in appearance, the more likely it is that the Law of similarity will win the battle.
This means, if for some reason you just can't position elements close to each other, yet you still want the visitor to relate the elements, then you need to add some contrast or the visitor will miss the point.
So in order to succeed with the Law of similarity you need to have a certain amount of contrast between non-related elements.
There is, however, a potential danger in this.
While a good amount of contrast serves it's purpose when used with care - it will be a complete mess if you try to run 7 different - highly contrasted - groups of elements on the same page.
Do not hesitate basing parts of your design on the Law of similarity - but at the same time, do not over do it.
Now, what if we actually had 7 different groups of content spread around on the page and still wanted them connected?
Since they were spread around on the page, framing would not be an option, and since there were 7 different groups creating obvious similarity would be hard without ruining the design.
The next page, and the final law of conception, offers a solution...