Repetition

What is Repetition?

Associated with consistency, repetition refers to the repeating of elements on a page. Whether it is repeating the font color for all your headings or adding a repetitive background pattern to your design, repetition not only makes a design consistent, it adds visual interest. It invites your audience to unknowingly tie certain individual elements together. If you came to a halt at an intersection and seconds later, the light turns green, you know it is okay to proceed. The association of the green light when driving has been a constant in our everyday life that without it, there would be some confusion. The same could be said about repetition in the graphic design world. The more consistent you are about certain elements in your design, the more repetition can be used to enhance and clarify information. There should always be a conscious effort to create this type of repetitiveness.

Using Repetition

There are many ways to use repetition. Repetition can take the form of an exact duplication such as a pattern background image. It can be as simple as using a shape, for instances, a circle, giving it the same color, but having the circle vary in size. It may appear that they are not identical but are in fact so alike that their connection is clear. As mentioned before, you can easily create headings or subheadings that use the same font and color which in turn can make it easier on the reader’s eyes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to using repetition. Just remember it is all about the connection to the design as a whole.

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EXERCISES

For this exercise, you can either use pencil and paper or any designing software you are most familiar with. Do a search on Google for badly designed websites. Once you have found a website, pick a page that is terribly hard to look at, start breaking it apart and find ways to add repetition. If you are feeling confident, use other design principles to assist in achieving a more appealing look.

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TIPS & ADVICE

It's quite understandable you want to jump right in and experiment on what you just learned. Slow down and remember the following:

  • There is nothing wrong with repeating colors and fonts. While it may feel redundant or boring, making sure your headings, subheadings, and paragraphs have the same font and color shows a consistency that is considered good designing skills.
  • On a side note, sticking with at least two different types of font in a single design is ideal. Any more than that and you run the risk of losing the consistency of a design
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EXAMPLES

When you are ready to see what all this talk is about, simply click here to browse through a few examples that illustrate repetition. Remember that once you understand these principles, they can be utilized to express all forms of art.