The Law of Thirds

A simplified mathematical approach divides any format into thirds – left to right and top to bottom – under the assumption that the intersection of these axes will be points of focus by the brain. As a format’s horizontal and vertical measurements become more exaggerated relative to each other, the thirds that are produced become more exaggerated themselves but still present an overall proportional unity that a designer can use to map out major compositional arrangement. While dividing a format into thirds presents an intrinsically symmetrical relationship between the three spaces that are defined, the two axes that define these equal intervals also provide a very asymmetrical proportional system of one-third relative to two-thirds.