Here is an example I am working on: enter image description here

The left one if is visualy more balanced to me (it's compensating the off balance of the mark which is lighter on the right) and the right one is perfectly centered within the square.

If it wasn't a geometric-based thing I would go for the visual balance but in this case I am afraid someone would notice the off-center thing and it would annoy people.

What would you do?

  • Could you point out the difference between the two marks? I don't see it.
    – Vincent
    Aug 24, 2019 at 7:57
  • 2
    The mark itself is the same but for its position in the square - the left one is centred more to the right (because the body of the mark is lighter on the right side) and the one on the right is straight middle
    – Mjav
    Aug 24, 2019 at 8:02
  • 1
    @Vincent the image on the left has its shape is shifted right, see this quick measure. BTW i can see the difference
    – joojaa
    Aug 24, 2019 at 8:23
  • 3
    Optical correction is often necessary for centring asymmetrical logos and such. So the answer is yes. However I don't think the example you posted actually needs it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 24, 2019 at 8:36
  • I'd be more concerned with how you are spelling "center" ;) -- (i'm kidding!)
    – Scott
    Aug 27, 2019 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


Optical corrections are a feature of high quality graphic design. What is important is how things are perceived (typically to maintain coherence/alignments, and fulfill the viewers' expectations)

The positioning of elements in software is often based on their bounding boxes, which don't account for their more specific shape. Visually, a triangle will be much heavier at its base than at its apex, so when one is dealing with a "play" button (to tie in with the YouTube example below), centering the shape based on its (rectangular) bounding box would not distribute its visual weight equally.

YouTube's logo uses such an optical correction where the apex is pushed a bit further to the right to balance the visual weight more evenly across the center (more obvious in the left image) enter image description here

As per @joojaa's comment below, it is possible to calculate the center of a triangle (centroid) and other shapes, but that's not typically something you'll learn in graphic design curriculum and you will eventually face limitations as the shapes become more complex.

In your design, I see the difference when I cover the other design from my sight and I think the current correction is a bit overdone as it stands. I would decrease it by half and reassess.

Also note that your current design may require further optical corrections. For example, shapes that are intended to look like a square may need to be made a bit less tall than they are wide to look like a proper square, compensating for the vertical-horizontal illusion.

Another relevant correction in logos is adjusting for the perceived weight of the icon and type when creating the black and white versions (positive and negative). The negative (white on black background) will look thicker than the positive (black on white background), so you would need to adjust one of the versions with a (very) light stroke (did I say very?) so they will look equivalent.

Getting some foundation in psychology of perception and gestalt theory is a good idea if you plan on doing very detail-oriented graphic work as many issues may be interacting on the same design. For example, if you fill a square with horizontal lines, it will look wider than if you fill it with vertical lines.

To further complicate things, people perceive things slightly differently, possibly based on cultural, environmental and ecological factors.

Last and most important, try to forget what you know when looking at a design and focus on what you're seeing.

Some relevant reading on optical illusions found in design here: https://blog.prototypr.io/11-optical-illusions-found-in-visual-design-295e7ae211b9

  • 2
    That is a bad example if your target is to say about the mathematical nature. The triangles mathematical center does not lie at tge center of the bounding box, bit at intersection of bisectors, and that intersection is... very close to the center of the logo. Also in the case of ghis logo one can mathematically describe also the optical correction
    – joojaa
    Aug 27, 2019 at 4:46
  • @joojaa I've edited a bit to make the distinction clearer. I know it's possible to mathematically describe the correction of in the logo (it's in the article I've included at the bottom). It's just not what the OP is asking.
    – curious
    Aug 27, 2019 at 10:16
  • @joojaa reading your comment again, I think I might have misunderstood it. I will have time to edit later but if you could quote the problematic example, that would be helpful :)
    – curious
    Aug 28, 2019 at 14:21

It may be one of the many reasons why a construction grid is necessary: justify the construction and position of each logo component.

If the logo is already done, try to locate construction matches. In a quick sketch I found these that surely can be improved. As an example, I didn't do any analysis of the curves radius, which can give new coincidences.

enter image description here

  • Please don't consider it rude but I didn't get the point you are trying to convey.
    – Vikas
    Aug 28, 2019 at 16:23
  • I am afraid someone would notice the off-center thing and it would annoy people : It may be one of the many reasons why a construction grid is necessary: justify the construction and position of each logo component.
    – user120647
    Aug 28, 2019 at 16:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.