Design Fundamentals

Chunking Information

By CRAIG KUNCE

"Chunking" is what I prefer to call the design concept of putting similar elements together so they are viewed together and look like they go together.

The academic terminology would be: Unity through proximity. My first-year students tend to get confused with this academic terminology, so I use chunking—and they seem to understand that approach better.

We know humans like to make order out of chaos. As a designer and visual communicator you can help deliver information quickly and efficiently to your viewers by chunking your information into small bits. This allows the viewer to read little pieces of information at a time. Too much information can be overload—a bad thing.

Viewers usually like to read small bits of information that go together. Chunking allows designers to control which bits of information your viewer sees first, second, third, etc.

When chunking information try to create "logos" with your information. These "logos" can use similar:

  • Typefaces
  • Design styles
  • Colors
  • Borders & frames
  • Illustrative styles
  • Backgrounds
  • Drop shadows
  • Gradients
  • etc.

These help unify the elements of each chunk and make them go together.

Examples of Chunking

Here are several examples that demonstrate good information chunking