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Author: Nicole Wedderburn


What is Repetition?

Repetition is one of the key principles within Composition and Layout. Repetition is "repeated use of select design elements within the same composition" (Dabner, Stewart, and Zempol, 35). Repetition is used in visual design to create a unified and consistent design. Repetition can be shown by using repeated elements such as typography, ornamentation, and color.

Types of Repetition

Repeated Elements

Figure 1: Repetition of brown circles.

Repetition of an element enforces continuity and consistency (Boudreaux) and provides strong visual impact. In the following example, the heading typography in large italicized serif typeface is repeated for each entry in a list of blog posts. The subheading typography in smaller sans-serif extended uppercase typeface is also repeated. The consistent typography will enable a user to easily scan for specific blog posts.

Figure 2: Repeated typography displayed via the most recent blog post listing from www.thecoveteur.com.

Grouping Repeated Elements

Figure 3: Repetition of groupings of brown circles.

Repeated elements can be grouped to create visual impact. In the following example, a website footer includes information in a grid structure that is grouped using vertical lines to create columns as well as headers to indicate rows.

Figure 4: Footer from www.colorcubic.com.

Repetition with Variety

Figure 5: Repetition of groupings of brown circles with introduction of variety with color.

Visual interest can be achieved by varying elements through alteration of select aspects of a repeated element (Dabner, Stewart, and Zempol, 35). In the following example, the repeated topic header typography is displayed with different brightly colored backgrounds.

Figure 6: Top stories listing from www.about.com/homegarden.

Works Cited

Boudreaux, Ryan. "Effective design principles for web designers: Repetition." techrepublic.com. 20 Aug. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2014. ‹http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/web-designer/effective-design-principles-for-web-designers-repetition/

Dabner, David, Sandra Stewart, and Eric Zempol. Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design. 5th ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print.