Module 1: Basics of composition
Show module curriculum

Symmetry and asymmetry

Symmetry help you create perfectly balanced compositions if it’s your goal. Or otherwise, breaking the symmetry of the composition may build tension and create contrast.  Balance and tension are two opposing aspects that keep the viewer’s interest. And as designers we are constantly trying to attract the viewer, keep them interested, lead them through the content.

There are no do and don’ts, as you should always let the content lead your choice of ways of artistic expression.


In symmetrical compositions elements are oriented along the same axis. They can be vertically, horizontally, or diagonally symmetrical. Many natural organisms are symmetrical, and these compositions may be considered as more static, balanced and safe.


Asymmetry can also help achieve compositional balance. Elements of the composition are placed randomly using actively the negative space and positioning. This allow create more active dynamic compositions and guides the viewer, make them curious.