Module 1: Basics of composition
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Speaking of size, we consider physical dimension of the element – width, heigh, length. The element can be considered big or small only within the context – either in comparison to other elements on the page or to the format of the page itself. Contrast in sizes creates tension and gives a feeling of depth and movement.

Clear variations in size may lead the viewer from one element to another, infuse the composition with a sense of dynamism and movement. Contrast in size can be used as a way of highlighting the centre of composition.


Scale usually refers to one’s impression on the size of the object. It shows the corelation between objects within a certain context. Scale is always relative, as the scale of the object can appear to be large or small depending on the size, placement, and colour of the surrounded elements.

Always consider that some objects have expected scale. And playing with it can create illusions and intrigue the viewer. It’s a good way to attract attention.
We used lovely example of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s illustration with hat and elephant from “The Little Prince”.

There are common proportional patterns that can be helpful for creating balanced compositions.

Rule of thirds also known as golden grid

It is a technique in composition when a medium is divided in three equal parts vertically and horizontally. This creates an invisible grid, and if significant elements of the composition are positioned on the intersections of these lines, it results in aesthetically pleasing and interesting compositions.

Golden Ratio (or golden section)

Is a ratio between elements approximately equal 0,618. The smaller segment is to the larger segment as the larger segment is to the sum of the two segments. It is a proportion that could be found in nature, architecture and even in human body. Compositions build on the base of golden ratio are considered as harmonious and especially pleasing to the eye.

Aspect ratio

Aspect ratio describes the proportional relation between the width and the height of the image. When you scale an image or an object it’s important to respect the aspect ratio to avoid distortion.