Designing Online Images part 1: The Rule of Thirds

Designs, Projects
I am about to start a new project which focusses on the composition of objects over images. I’ll be using my own images, taken from my iPhone, and overlaying designs using The Rule of Thirds

The Rule

The Rule of Thirds is defined in Wiki as:

The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject.

The technique can be best explained using the following examples:

Pretty basic stuff.

The challenge now is to use that guideline and create a design pattern around ‘The Rule of Thirds’.

Design patterns that use ‘The Rule’ could look like this:

Using actual images, the 9-equal-parts setup now looks like this:

Overlaying actual objects, using the design patterns as a guide, I have come up with the following compositions:

Street Art


All these mocks were created inside 10 minutes which really highlights the ease and simplicity of the process. 

And further highlights that I can improve on this 10-minute iteration.

Why do this?

There are of course some real practical uses for all of the examples above. The first one (Street art) could be used as an intro to a post of all their street photography. It can also be used in a slide deck or as part of a project inside your own portfolio.

The other 2 have some real commercial uses advertising bike sales / rentals and weekender rentals.

All of these can be presented in all types of media from print (news, magazine, posters etc.) to online (blog, portfolio, commercial sites etc.).  So yes, there are a fair few use cases where these designs have can come to play.

Have you followed this pattern in your design process? Feel free to share your thoughts below.


About this post

PC halved

All images above are my own, taken from Instagram and Flickr. The process of dressing up my images was a whole lot of fun.

I use Sketch as my design tool of choice and I’ll have a more detailed process in an upcoming Skillshare course.

Up Next: The Rule of Odds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s