optical illusion design


While doing some research on magazine covers at Barnes and Noble, I happened to open a music magazine (not sure which one, sorry) because I saw John Lennon’s name on the cover and was curious about what it was about. I never found the article because I became distracted by a full page ad using optical illusion design. Very effective at getting a viewer’s attention, isn’t it? Much like the image above,the page appeared to pulsate and move continually, while I attempted to focus on the opposing page (table of contents to, you know, find that article I was looking for). Instead I became fascinated with the visual stimulation at hand, got a little dizzy after a while and put the magazine back on the shelf.

Leaving an impression with me, today I googled for optical illusion design and found a few samples to share with you. Akiyoshi Kitaoka, who created the above and below designs is a Psychology professor at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. His focus is in visual illusion, visual completion, motion perception and stereopsis. Wow!


As the warning states on the website linked to these images, if you begin to feel dizzy, look away. It appears that vibrant color combinations and patterns help to make these designs come to life. Check out the links. You’ll have a lot of fun, as I did.

I also happened to follow links to an artist, Felice Varini, who paints on architectural and urban spaces. The paintings are created with one particular vantage point in mind. I found his ability to create illusion with color, shape and space amazing. He’s been leaving his mark of design since the 1980s, so you’ll find a lot of his work on his website. Striking, isn’t it?

Paroi orange ŽclatŽ


(Two top images from Akiyoshi’s illusion pages at http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/kic/~akitaoka/index-e.html | Bottom photo from Felice Varini’s website: http://www.varini.org/02indc/indgen.html)