"A Gutenberg Diagram is a diagram that describes the general pattern followed by the eyes when looking at evenly distributed, homogenous information [please note that this follows Western reading patterns, suggesting there is a connection with the way that words are read from top left across a page with the ending of the page in the bottom right.]....Designs that follow the diagram work in harmony with reading gravity and return readers to a logical axis of organization, improving reading rhythm and comprehension...
The Gutenberg Diagram divides a display medium into 4 quadrants: the primary area at the top left, the terminal area at the bottom right, the strong fallow area at the top right, and the weak fallow area at the bottom left. Western readers begin naturally at the primary optical area and move across and down the display medium in a series of sweeps to the terminal area. Each sweep begins along an axis of orientation- a horizontal line created by aligned elements, text lines, or explicit segments - and proceeds in a left-to-right direction. The strong and weak fallow areas lie outside this path and receive minimal attention unless visually emphasized. The tendency to follow this path is metaphorically attribute to reading gravity ("gravity of the page") - the top left to bottom right habit formed in readers.
There is not significant empirical evidence that it contributes to improved reading rates or comprehension; however, it is still considered an important design theory.
image 1 from: http://www.studiodino.com/images/gutenberg.jpg
image 2 from: http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_1611/16110305/file/hovis-bread-pumpkin-1024-58266.jpg
mage 3 from: http://www.catalystmarketers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/dunkin_donuts_print_ad.jpg
text from: Universal Principle of Design by Ludwell, Hkoden, Butler.
STUDENTS: ONE SAMPLE OF GUTENBERG DIAGRAM
Please post below with a website address displaying an image. Then explain how this sample follows the theory proposed by a Gutenberg Diagram. The image does NOT need to have the diagram over the top; however, you must explain how it follows the diagram's Primary Optical Area to the Terminal Area. HINT: Google Print Ad and not Gutenberg Diagram. A good print ad will follow the theory while "Gutenberg Diagram" will just show the diagram.
Please check this each Monday of the semester for information. Put this in your head. Use it. Live it. Be a great designer.