The Gestalt of Book Design


A book is more than the sum of its parts. The main ingredients of a book 'the text, image and paper, or other materials' are combined by designers in various ways. The book as an end product, provides a further experience than the sum of these raw ingredients. The Gestalt Theory was introduced by Wertheimer, and further investigated by Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler in 1920's. The word 'gestalt' means 'shape', 'form' or 'whole' in German. The principles of Gestalt Theory, such as figure-ground, similarity, continuation, closure and proximity aim to formulate the visual perception of images, objects and groups, and is used in graphic design to describe the organisation of design elements. The Gestalt principles, when applied to book design, can provide a formulation and system that help graphic designers solve problems and create new solutions in a complex object that has many details and variations. The figure'ground principle in gestalt theory can be translated to book design as the physical material and the informational ingredients of a book. In the complex arrangement of the ingredients of a book, the user tends to seek a pattern; this behaviour is explained as "closure" in gestalt theory. This paper aims to combine such Gestalt principles with the anatomy of the book and provide a systematic investigation of the book via the rules for organization and perception.

Author Information
Melike Tascioglu, Anadolu University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHDubai2016
Stream: Humanities - Aesthetics, Design

This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon