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# The Six laws of perceptual organization are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Pragnanz (Good Figure) Similarity Good Continuation Proximity Common Fate Familiarity

## Pragnanz (Good Figure)

The law of Pragnanz or the law of good figure states that every stimulus pattern is seen in such a way that the resulting structure is as simple as possible. This means that the viewer will always try to organize the elements of a design into the simplest pattern possible. A square that is overlapping a triangle is seen as two simple overlapping shapes, rather than a single more complex polygon. Similarity

The law of similarity states that similar visual elements appear to be grouped together. Elements of a design that look alike are organized into a group. So squares are visually grouped together with other squares, and circles are visually grouped together with other circles.

Good Continuation

The law of good continuation states that a series of visual elements connected in a straight or curved line is seen as belonging together. A series of forms lined up in a path will be visually grouped together, even if that path is interrupted by another form. The law also states that lines tend to be seen in such a way as to follow the smoothest path. Proximity

The law of proximity states that visual elements which are near to each other are grouped together. Even if the elements of a design are not similar in form, they may be seen as belonging together if they are close to each other in the composition. A circle and a square will be grouped together if they are in proximity of one another.

Common Fate

The law of common fate states that visual elements which appear to be moving in the same direction will be grouped together. Two forms with similar orientations will appear to belong with one another. For example, a triangle and a rectangle will be grouped together if they both appear to be moving in the same direction in the composition. Familiarity

The law of familiarity states that visual elements are more likely to form a group if that group of elements appears meaningful or familiar. If the individual forms of a design create a larger, more recognizable form, then those forms are grouped together. If a rectangle and a triangle are arranged in such a way that they resemble the form of a house, then those shapes are seen as a group. These six laws of perceptual organization allow us to represent objects from the real world in a two-dimensional composition. They explain how a viewer is able to take a bunch of seemingly disparate shapes in a design and organize them into something recognizable. An understanding of these six laws will help you make decisions on how to arrange the individual elements of your design, and predict how they will be perceived.