The Importance of Symmetry and Asymmetry in Presentations

Symmetry is all around us and is associated with beauty and harmony. It is nature’s way of telling us that something is right and balanced. Even when we are choosing a partner, the symmetry of one’s face and body captures our attention. However, we all know that sometimes the most exciting things are different and unconventional; asymmetric. The little, seemingly imperfect details that make each of us unique.

Just as in nature, both symmetry and asymmetry have their place in presentation design. They have different functions and serve for different purposes. In this post, we will highlight the best ways to utilize both symmetry and asymmetry.

Symmetry

Symmetry is the more natural of the two. It creates the feeling of balance and harmony. This is why symmetry should be present in most of your designs as a background, pattern or content in slides that are rather visually passive. There are three types of symmetry:

1. Reflection Symmetry

Reflection or bilateral symmetry exists when a certain element is mirrored around a central axis. Simply put, you have exactly the same element in the same position on both sides of your design. There are no restrictions in terms of the direction of the reflection symmetry. It can be vertical, horizontal or at any angle you want. Nature is full of examples of reflection symmetry such as most parts of the human body like the eyes, years, hands and legs.

2. Rotation Symmetry

This type of symmetry occurs when an object or objects are evenly rotated around a common center. The best example in nature are flowers. When it comes to design, it can create a more dynamic sensation compared to reflection symmetry.

3. Translation Symmetry

In this variation of symmetry, the same objects are positioned in different areas of space with the same general orientation and equal or proportional space between them. Similarly to rotation symmetry, it can create a more dynamic feeling of motion and movement.

Asymmetry

The simplest way to define asymmetry is to call it a lack of symmetry. It creates a sense of change and attracts our attention by signaling that a certain pattern or balance has been broken. You have to be careful when using asymmetry in your design. It serves as the best way to catch the interest of the beholder, so it shouldn’t be used too often, just in key points of your presentation.

Nature found the perfect way to balance symmetry and asymmetry. You should try to do the same in your presentation designs. Trust your senses of harmony and aestheticism to blend order (symmetry) and chaos (asymmetry) for the best results possible.