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Which is more visuallly pleasing?

 2:16 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm hanging 2 pictures on the wall (digital ones as it happens, but i don't think that is relevant)

I don't want to hang them side by side exactly in line, I want to hang them, side by side but such that if you drew a line centre to centre it would be either a forward or backward slash.

So which would be more visually pleasing:
a) left picture is lower
b) right picture is lower

in a way it would appear that it would make no difference but intuitively it really feels like (a) to me.

further background - you walk into the room and these pictures are on the main wall of the room, so your eyes will be drawn to the pictures almost straight away.

any thoughts?



 3:51 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

" B " \ ...KF


 4:55 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Right picture lower.

I'm not sure why, but I could speculate that it has something to do with the way that we naturally read from left to right, so the left side should be the prominent position.

However I'm a coder, not a designer, and I'm sure there is a reason for that, too.


 6:08 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Errr, I'm sure it doesn't matter, but I'd put the first one you'd see as you come into the room at eye level, then the next one either higher or lower. Lower I think.


 9:18 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Like most posts here that ask to solve a problem - the question has no answer unless you know the whole room, how it's most often entered, and how it's laid out (e.g., show us some code. :-) )

This is going to depend on the Feng Shui of the house. Where do you enter the room from most often, and do you want ascension or descention? Generally in Western cultures, we browse left to right just like reading, and the tendency is to descend (next line down) as opposed to Eastern cultures, which ascend (read up., from right to left.)

So if I'm, say, entering the room with the pictures on the left, or with them directly in front of me, I would hang the right one higher to lend a feeling of ascension. /

UNLESS- this leads the eye to a "dead space" that leaves it trapped and confused. A corner is an amorphous space and the eye easily browses past it, but if say, on the right there's a floor to ceiling bookcase that blocks the flow, I might put the left one higher so that the eye travels down, meets the bookcase, and ascends there.

If you're blocked left AND right of the pictures, the perfect solution is to go ahead and hang them level. This forces you to focus on the pictures alone, and balance your concentration between them, not ascending or sliding off left OR right. See color theory, dominance and submission. Two graphic elements, equally divided in terms of size, shape, contrast, or color, will "battle" each other and one will not dominate over the other. In design it's rarely what you want, but can be used to the artist's (or interior designer's) advantage to focus attention on the two elements.


 9:22 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Observe while I make this much more complicated than it needs to be:


What's adjacent to your proposed picture-hanging space? If there's a staircase, or joining wall, or hallway, or even a big blank space to the right or left, that constitutes a certain visual weight. The upper photo should be nearer this weight so that your two-photo arrangement, in effect, leads the eye on a linear path around the space.

Or I might be full of it.

[edited by: lawman at 11:11 am (utc) on Sep. 16, 2008]


 10:08 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

ah, exactly nothing is simple.

rectangular room, this is the major/focus wall.

the two pictures will be in the middle, to the left is a floor to ceiling bookcase (set back), to the right also set back, stereo rack and painting above.

>>In design it's rarely what you want, but can be used to the artist's (or interior designer's) advantage to focus attention on the two elements

hmm, that's interesting and makes sense. I'm also considering 2 different sized pictures which i think would be more visually appealing


 5:24 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Then, all other things being equal, listen to grandpa. He's right on track. The two primary optical areas are the top left corner and the lower right corner.

I'm also considering 2 different sized pictures which i think would be more visually appealing

You know more than you think you do. Go with it.


 5:59 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

painting above

2 different sized pictures

Maybe a smaller picture lower, then a larger one around eye level, leading to your painting above?


 6:22 am on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hang the darn things will you !


 6:50 am on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd hang them on a nail.


 9:52 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

ha, well i went with the left one as the lower one and it works well, looks great infact.

currently they are both 19 inch screens. i'm trying to get a larger one as the left one,

infact i'm very happy, version 2.0 will be 3 monitors, a widescreen one on the left, the smallest one above this and on the right the third screen, the 2 non widescreen monitors are rotated 90 degrees so they are upright shaped.


 6:40 am on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Congratulations on you decisiveness. And it took only one month. ;)

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