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Proximity

Observe a group of people in a room. You can often learn a lot about who is listening intently to another person, which are strangers, or who is ignoring who by how close together they sit or stand. In design, proximity or closeness creates a bond between people and between elements on a page. How close together or far apart elements are placed suggests a relationship (or lack of) between otherwise disparate parts. Unity is also achieved by using a third element to connect distant parts.

Proximity
What proximity is and how to use it in graphic design and web design.

Problems in Proximity — The Bathroom Analogy
When using proximity in page design there is a fine line between not close enough and too close. The bathroom analogy uses two examples from a public restroom to illustrate this principle of design.

Proximity in Design: Why I Can’t Use My Car’s A/C
Smashing Magazine looks as "creating meaning and patterns through proximity" using the A/C panel on a car as the example to explain the concept.

Design Bascis - The Proxmity Principle
Lesa Snider, writing for Macworld, describes and illustrates some simple ways to employ proximity and improve a page.

Design Principles - Proxmity
NHS Designs offers multiple illustrations of proxmity in design.

Proximity - How to Effectively Organize Your Pages
The Web Design Library discusses the do's and don'ts of proximity in Web site design.

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