Img: Company Folders 
Photographers round the world are familiar with the basic ideas that govern the composition of photography. One such idea, the Rule of Thirds, paves the way for well-balanced and interesting images. To practice, split images into thirds horizontally and vertically using two lines for each way. This renders nine equal squares and four intersecting points. Per the rule, the focal point of a picture is most impactful when placed at the intersecting points or directly on the lines.

Img: Photo Video EDU
Positioning the main focus of the picture off-centre is more aesthetically-pleasing and easier for the eye to interpret.

Centred (left) & off-centre(right) focal points
Offsetting the focal interest point presents a more open image because of the negative space created. Negative space is defined as the area surrounding the main subject (positive space), and can be used to draw attention to, complement or contrast the main subject. The emptiness is a great balancer, establishing a sort of rest area for the eye after concentrating on the focal point. A lack of negative space can make an image seem overly-crowded.

Img: Codrops
Focal images don’t have to perfectly match up to the intersections or lines. It’s perfectly acceptable to have things roughly lined up with the dividing lines.

Keeping this rule in mind will inspire the photographer to put thought into framing a picture, repositioning if necessary.  The Rule of Thirds stresses the importance of the main subject of the shot and where to best place it. Although the rule is meant to make shots more balanced and interesting, it’s important to remember that breaking rules can produce impactful end products.

Applications in Office Design

When hanging things on the wall such as a fabric wall, it can be helpful to visualise the wall trisected per the Rule of Thirds. Once the mental image is there, think of the centre square as the focal point and place secondary wall hangings on intersecting points or lines. To create a dynamic arrangement, choose items that are of varying sizes, depths and colours.

Other aspects of interior design can benefit from the Rule of Thirds. If, for example, a secretary’s desk falls in the centre focal square, then place décor based off of that main focus. Framing a room based on this rule will allow you to draw the eye to certain aspects of the room or guide the flow of traffic.

Rule of Three

Img: Popeti
Though not exactly the same, the Rule of Three is a version of the Rule of Thirds. It states that having three of anything is more natural than having an even number. This applies to colour, items, textures, fabrics and furniture.

Colours – The main colour should occupy 60% of the room while the secondary takes up 30%, and the accent colour only 10%.

Items – Three items or three groupings of items look complete whereas two can look unfinished. Choose items that are of similar sizes that relate to one another aesthetically and go well in the space.

Textures – The best designer knows that texture adds visual interest and presents colours in different forms. For example, this grey pillow looks entirely different from this matt black light fixture. Focusing on three different textures can really bring a room together.

Img: RightMove
In the image above there are several ubiquitous textures – smooth wood in the flooring, table top and chandelier; roughness in the ceiling and wicker chairs; and textured beige in the carpet, wallpaper and lampshades.

Fabrics – Probably the hardest aspect to coordinate, fabric can be a bit of pain. Choose fabrics based on colour, texture and pattern in relation to your intended space. When in doubt, choose a monochromatic scheme, going for tints, tones and shades of one colour (hue).

Furniture – Create furniture groupings that mimic one another. If you have an L-shaped couch paired with a coffee table and a lone arm chair, consider adding a small object to lengthen the profile of the arm chair. A footrest could serve well here. 


Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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