Individual elements are perceived as parts of a larger whole

Humans recognize patterns and familiar shapes even if they are incomplete because individual elements are perceived as parts of a larger whole. For example, we perceive the image above as a circle and a square, but it’s really just a collection of curved lines.

The Law of Closure is also common in nature. Our ancestors used their perception of closure to recognize otherwise hidden predators. Conversely, some animals have color patterns to combat closure: the stripes of tigers and zebras break up their shapes.

Designers can use the Law of Closure to simplify their designs. By reducing a design to its most basic form, information can be communicated with less complexity. Even simple shapes and icons can convey a lot of meaning and information. For instance, the diamond and polygon shapes below appear to form a box.



  • Reduce a design to its simplest form to reduce complexity
  • Use simplified shapes and icons to convey messages and meaning


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5 More Laws of Credit Union Website Design

If you’ve enjoyed learning about the Law of Closure, then check out our article 5 Laws of Credit Union Website Design to learn about other laws of design.