featured post_layout part 2

So yesterday was all about The Grid  and today we are going to be talking about The Rule of Thirds.

Just for reference, here’s were we are in the “basics” posts:

  1. Layout and Composition: the grid, the rule of thirds, hierarchy, rhythm, unity, contrast and positive/negative space.
  2. Typography: fonts, using different fonts together, adjusting font (using kerning, tracking and leading), using type.
  3. Color: color theory (oh how I love this topic), using a color story/palette,
  4. Line and Shape
  5. Photography
  6. Art, illustration and texture

Here we go.

The Rule of Thirds:

The rule of thirds is when your canvas is divided up into three columns across and three rows down. Here’s an example of a photo divided like you would for use of the rule of thirds (from my pico de gallo post):


So the idea is that for some reason (similar to the golden proportion) a perfectly symmetrical composition is less satisfying and aesthetically pleasing than one in which the proportions are slightly asymmetrical. So in a similar way, a photo with it’s subject directly in the center, is less pleasing to the eye then one that is is slightly off to one side.

With our lines of thirds in place, we draw little circles where each of the lines intersect, which is where our focal points should be:


But you may be saying: “But this is talking about my photos, not the design of my blog!” Well, honey, as a food blogger, your photos ARE your blog. Sorry to put so much pressure on it, but it’s true. We all like visually pleasing photos, and even if your recipe is award winning and the best thing I’ll ever eat, if the photo isn’t compelling enough, I’ll likely be pinning, printing or cooking the recipe of some other blog with better photos.

I’m not getting into photography until later in this 31 days series, but for now you can look at the composition of your photo and know that having things a little off center is better then smack dab in the middle.

HOLD ON! Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. Minimalist Baker’s image below for example:

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 11.47.38 PM

Clearly the image has the blender (two halves, but still) centered in the photo. But if you pay careful attention to where your eye goes:


Huh. My eyes went right to where the natural focal points were! Crazy! Did yours?

The rule of thirds can be applied to the grid and your column widths too… I think that’s another reason why I like my main content area to be larger then my sidebar, about a ration of two-thirds to one-third.

Here’s some more great photo inspiration sources: Learn Food Photography

See you tomorrow, for more 31 days of graphic design for food bloggers!

Resources for this post:

The Golden Proportion

The Rule of Thirds

Food Photography Inspiration

Blogs mentioned:

My pico de gallo post

Minimalist Baker