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Many times, when I design, the end result is such that top part of design is bright and bottom is dark or the opposite. And usually (sometimes not possible) I end up placing copy in 1 part and the product in other part (not deliberately, but it just happens or sometimes it is required). Here's a rough layout for the same:

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Does keeping the dark area in the bottom makes any special or significant difference? Or does it signify something special? Some emotion/feeling/characteristic/behavior of a design?

Bonus query: I know that placing product in bottom right corner is often advised. But still I want to know if placing the product at top and copy at bottom OR product at bottom and copy at top (irrespective of above mentioned dark/bright concept) makes some difference?

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    Things are generally not this "cut and dry". Eye movement is the primary thing to be aware of.. and without content it's not possible to comment on how an eye would move across something merely because of varied tonal regions. The only possible definitive is that reverse type is often more difficult to read. – Scott Sep 10 '20 at 20:17
  • @Scott I guess by revere type you mean white text on dark background? If yes, yes it also seems like to me. Interesting thing. So why would brand like TONI&GUY design their feed like this way? Is there any reason? (Please have a look after scrolling a bit down, you'll see many white texts over black) instagram.com/toniandguyworld – Vikas Sep 10 '20 at 20:40
  • I don't do instagram/facebook/twitter. et al. I find them a complete waste of time. But... looking at their web site... I can't say "why" they've chosen a few areas to be reversed. I'm not privy to their marketing strategy. And that's assuming they even put thought into it. There are no "rules"... there is really only "manipulation" and in most instances there's a specific goal to some design choices. Again, it's not as "cut and dry" as to why some elements may be reversed or positive. On that site, the reversed areas would appear to be less important to the average visitor. – Scott Sep 10 '20 at 20:49
  • @Scott completely agree with your point about social media. Especially these days these are full of politics. But here in India we're kind of dependent on Facebook. Small businesses and people who can't compete on Behance or bigger special platforms, often need Facebook Instagram for growth of their level (not judging, just saying). So how do you stay up to date about something trending? Some new design trend? – Vikas Sep 10 '20 at 21:13
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    My clients aren't really interested in "trends". – Scott Sep 10 '20 at 21:33
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Things are generally not so "cut and dry".

Eye movement is the primary thing to be aware of.. and without content it's not very easy to comment on how an eye would move across something merely because of varied tonal regions.

The only possible definitive is that reverse type is often more difficult to read.

In general, the eye is attracted to lighter areas first, then darker areas -- Again, in general. This not an absolute. Content makes a difference.


Overall it doesn't really matter where varied tonal regions fall. What matters is if the message is conveyed how you feel it should be conveyed.

What I found most helpful is after a design is, what I feel, complete... I walk away for a few hours... or a day or two.

Then come back and look again and pay conscious attention to how my eye moves across the design. Does my eye see the varied content in a logical and pleasing manner? Is the message conveyed as "important"? Does my eye tend to linger in one area? Is that area a good area to linger? etc.

This is key in my opinion - and in some ways determines a good/great design as opposed to an average design - being cognizant of where the eye moves and being able to adjust the design based upon that motion.

With this in mind... it doesn't really matter what's "dark" or "light" as long as the eye moves in a manner you think is favorable.

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