On square and rectangular pages we generally place elements in orderly rows and columns. With radial designs the elements radiate from or swirl around in a circular or spiral path.
Parts of the design must still be arranged so that they are balanced across the width and length of the page unless you're intentionally aiming for a lack of balance.
See the descriptions below each of these examples that describes how radial balance is achieved in each case.
Radial Here we have an example of radial balance in a rectangular space. The year represents the center of the design with the subtle color sections radiating from that center. The calendar month grids and their corresponding astrological symbols are arrayed around the year in a circular fashion.
Radial Colors and text radiate out from the apple in the middle of this CD cover design. The effect is almost one of spiralling down into the center of the apple. The apple itself looks nearly symmetrical but the curving text and the outlines edging off the page to the top and right throws it all slightly off-balance.
Look for examples of radial balance, do these exercises and answer these questions (to yourself).
- How many examples of radial balance can you find? It may be harder to find examples. Look to elements within other layouts such as graphic illustrations and logos that use a radial balance.
- Does the piece radiate from a central point or does it have a spiral effect?
- Does the design pull you in or send you out to the edges of the piece?