Blog Article

Types of Balance in Art: From Symmetry to Asymmetry

By Saumya | Last Updated on February 21st, 2024 10:33 am

Art, in its many forms, is a reflection of life, and balance plays a crucial role in art just as it does in our daily existence. Balance in art refers to the distribution of visual elements in a way that creates harmony, unity, and a sense of stability in the artwork. Artists use various types of balance, including symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, and radial balance, to convey different feelings and messages through their creations. In the modern era, artists and designers are increasingly incorporating AI design tools into their workflows.

What is Balance in Art?

Balance in art refers to the distribution of visual elements within a composition. It's about achieving equilibrium and harmony among various elements such as colors, shapes, textures, and space. There are three main types of balance in art:

  1. Symmetrical Balance: Also known as formal balance, symmetrical balance occurs when elements are arranged equally on either side of a central axis. This creates a sense of stability and order. Think of a mirror image or a balanced scale.

  2. Asymmetrical Balance: Asymmetrical balance, or informal balance, involves arranging elements of different visual weight in a way that achieves equilibrium. While the composition may not be mirrored, the visual weight is still balanced, creating a sense of harmony through careful arrangement.

  3. Radial Balance: Radial balance occurs when elements radiate outward from a central point, like the spokes of a wheel or the petals of a flower. This type of balance creates a sense of movement and energy around a central focal point.

  4. Crystallographic Balance: Crystallographic Balance is commonly found in artworks such as mosaics, quilts, and certain types of patterned designs. It relies on repetition and regularity to achieve balance rather than symmetry or asymmetry. Each element within the composition contributes equally to the overall visual weight, leading to a harmonious and cohesive arrangement.

Balance in art is crucial for creating visually pleasing and engaging compositions. It helps guide the viewer's eye and can convey a sense of stability or dynamism depending on the desired effect. Artists often manipulate balance to evoke specific emotions or to emphasize certain elements within their work.

1. Symmetrical Balance (Formal Balance)

Symmetrical balance, also known as formal balance, is one of the most classic forms of balance in art, embodying the balance definition in art as the equitable distribution of visual weight. It occurs when elements on both sides of a composition are identical or very similar in size, shape, and position. Imagine drawing a line down the center of a painting; if each side mirrors the other, the artwork is said to exhibit symmetrical balance. This type of balance creates a sense of calmness, stability, and formality, serving as a prime example of what balance in art encompasses. It's often seen in architectural designs, traditional portraits, and religious art, including religious poster templates, where symmetry conveys a sense of order and importance. In contrast, asymmetrical balance in art achieves harmony through the uneven distribution of elements, providing dynamic tension and interest. These balance in art examples illustrate how artists use both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance to convey different emotional and visual effects, enriching our understanding of balanced art. Here are a few of the templates that demonstrate symmetry in religious posters:

  • religious posters
  • religious psoter templates
  • religious psoter
  • religious psoter maker

2. Asymmetrical Balance (Informal Balance)

Asymmetrical balance, or informal balance, represents a key aspect of the balance art definition, achieved when the visual weight of elements is distributed unevenly across the composition, yet still manages to achieve a sense of equilibrium. Unlike symmetrical balance art, where elements are mirror images of each other, this type of balance is more dynamic and interesting. It often involves contrasting elements such as different colors, shapes, and textures to create a balanced look, illustrating the definition of balance in art as the harmonious arrangement of components. AI Art Generator tools have been exploring asymmetrical balance, pushing the boundaries of traditional composition by leveraging algorithms to create captivating and unconventional arrangements.

Asymmetrical balance requires careful planning to ensure that the artwork feels stable despite the lack of mirror-like symmetry. It's common in modern and abstract art, where artists play with visual weight to create tension and interest, showcasing the Types of Balance in art. For those looking to professionally present their work, tools like an artist business card maker can be invaluable. Radial balance in art, another type of balance, involves elements radiating out from a central point, adding to the diversity of ways artists can achieve equilibrium in their work. This exploration of asymmetrical balance, alongside symmetrical and radial balance, enriches our understanding of how balance operates within the realm of art.

The use of a AI Font Generator can further enhance this exploration, offering artists and designers a tool to experiment with textual elements in their work, seamlessly integrating typography with visual balance to create cohesive and dynamic compositions.

3. Radial Balance

Radial balance, a concept central to balance in design, occurs when elements in an artwork are arranged around a central point, spreading outwards in all directions. Think of the spokes on a bicycle wheel or the petals of a flower; these are prime examples of radial balance, beautifully showcasing balance drawing principles, just like an illustration maker would. This type of balance, known as radial balance art, draws the viewer's eye into the center of the composition and then outward, creating a sense of movement and flow, embodying the balanced meaning in art as the harmonious arrangement that leads the viewer through the artwork. Radial balance is often used in mandalas, rose windows in Gothic cathedrals, and in nature-inspired designs, providing a sense of unity and focus. Each instance serves as an example of balance, showcasing how artists utilize radial balance to organize elements in a circular fashion, enhancing the visual impact and overall unity of the design.

4. Crystallographic Balance (Mosaic Balance)

Crystallographic balance, also known as mosaic balance, represents a form of balance that deviates from the traditional concepts of formal balance and informal balance, as defined in the balance in art definition. This type of balance involves an even distribution of elements across the composition, creating a uniform look without a focal point, akin to a pattern or texture that repeats across the artwork, giving it a cohesive feel. Unlike formal balance, which focuses on symmetrical arrangement, and informal balance, which relies on asymmetrical arrangements to achieve equilibrium, crystallographic balance is akin to the balance in principles of art that prioritizes unity and harmony without emphasizing any particular area of the artwork.

Crystallographic balance is often seen in patterns, textiles, and some types of abstract art, where the repetition of elements creates a sense of harmony and unity. These balance art examples highlight the diversity of approaches within the realm of art to creating balance, demonstrating how crystallographic or mosaic balance contributes to the overall sense of equilibrium in a piece without the need for a central focal point.

How to Achieve Balance in Art?

Artists achieve balance in their work through various means, such as the use of color, shape, texture, and positioning of elements, adhering to the balance principles of art. They might also employ tools like an image color picker to precisely select hues that contribute to the overall harmony of their composition. The choice of balance type significantly affects the overall mood and message of the artwork, demonstrating the balance principle of art in practice. For example, symmetrical balance in art, a clear application of the principles of art balance, can convey stability and formality, offering balance examples that underscore a sense of equilibrium and harmony. In contrast, asymmetrical balance can evoke a sense of dynamism and excitement, illustrating how imbalance can still fulfill the principles of balance in art by creating visual interest and movement.

Radial balance provides a focal point, drawing the viewer's attention inward, which is another aspect of the balance principles of art, focusing on how elements radiate from a central point to create unity. Whereas crystallographic balance offers a more immersive experience, allowing the eye to wander freely without settling on a single point, showcasing a different facet of balance in the principles of art that emphasizes uniform distribution without a focal point. This exploration of balance types highlights how the balance principle of art is crucial in guiding the viewer's experience and interpretation of an artwork.

Importance of Balance in Art

Balance in art is a fundamental principle that contributes to the overall effectiveness and aesthetic appeal of visual compositions. Whether in paintings, sculptures, photographs, or graphic designs, achieving balance is crucial for creating harmonious and engaging artworks. Here are some key points highlighting the importance of balance in art, including its relevance to "What is Graphic Design":

  • Visual Harmony: Balance ensures that elements within an artwork are visually harmonious, creating a sense of cohesion and unity.

  • Emotional Impact: Balanced compositions can evoke specific emotions in viewers, such as tranquility, stability, or energy, depending on the arrangement of elements.

  • Guiding the Viewer's Eye: Balance helps guide the viewer's eye smoothly across the artwork, leading them to focus on key elements and preventing visual confusion.

  • Enhanced Composition: Properly balanced compositions often appear more visually appealing and well-composed, drawing viewers in and encouraging prolonged engagement.

  • Symbolic Meaning: Balance can convey symbolic meanings within artworks, representing concepts such as harmony, equilibrium, or tension, depending on the artist's intent.

  • Effective Communication: In graphic design and visual communication, balance plays a vital role in conveying messages clearly and effectively, ensuring that important information is emphasized and easily comprehensible.

  • Creating Interest: Balance doesn't necessarily mean perfect symmetry; asymmetrical balance can add visual interest and dynamic energy to artworks, keeping viewers engaged.

  • Professionalism: Well-balanced compositions demonstrate a level of skill and attention to detail, reflecting positively on the artist or designer's professionalism and expertise.

Overall, balance in art is essential for creating visually pleasing, emotionally resonant, and communicative artworks that captivate viewers and convey meaning effectively.


In conclusion, balance is a key principle of balance in the creation and appreciation of art. Whether symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial, or crystallographic, each type of balance offers unique possibilities for expression and interpretation. By mastering these different forms of balance, artists can create works that are not only visually appealing but also rich in meaning and emotion. Define balance as the distribution of visual weight within a composition. The difference between formal balance (symmetrical balance) and structural balance (often referred to in terms of physical stability, but in the context of art, may align more with asymmetrical or dynamic balance) is significant: formal balance achieves harmony through mirrored symmetry, conveying stability and order, whereas structural balance might incorporate aspects of asymmetrical balance, achieving equilibrium through varied elements.

Crystallographic balance, with its even distribution of elements without a focal point, and the principles applied in balance

Related Articles