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Optical Illusion: Line and Color Tricks

By on September 2, 2011 – Updated on September 16, 2013

For designers of any field, lines and colors are the two of the most important element to consider in making a design.  On this post, we will test your visual judgement and basic knowledge on design.

The answers are provided below but try first to use your eyes to answer the following three (3) questions before scrolling down to find the answers but, if you already know the answer, obviously it’s no need for you to answer them. (^-^)

1. Which horizontal line is longer, that of figure A or B?

2. Which inner square is bigger, that of figure A or B?

3. Which red dot is brighter, that of figure A or B?

Don’t scroll down until you have chosen
which of which are the your answers.

Actually, each pair is just similar. The horizontal line of Figure A is not longer nor shorter than the horizontal of Figure B of the first set; the inner square of Figure A is congruent (equal) to the inner square of Figure B of the second set; and the red dot of Figure A has similar color value with the red dot of Figure B of the third set. But why it seems that the horizontal line appears to be longer or shorter that the other; the inner square appears to be bigger or smaller than the other; and the red dot appears to be darker or brighter than the other?

The horizontal line at the Figure B looks shorter than that of Figure A because the vertical line at the center breaks the flow of your eyes and draws your attention to the center of the figure. It is like a physical force that pulls both ends of the line to the center. Thus, it appears shorter.

The inner square of Figure B appears to be bigger than that of Figure A because it has a brighter color enclosed with a dark color, similar to the color of the inner square of Figure A. Dark colors visually condense and bright colors visually disperse – bright colors enlarge objects visually. That is why in fashion, chubby people are advised to wear dark-colored clothes and thin people (like me) are advised to wear bright-colored clothes to at least balance the looks.

The red dot of Figure A appears to be brighter than that of Figure B because of the dark background. When you try to evaluate the intensity of the color, your right brain easily differentiate two colors closest to each other. Thus, the red dot on the brown background appears to be brighter and the red dot on the yellow background appears to be darker.

Featured Image via Wikipedia. In the optical illusion image above, the square A is exactly the same shade of grey as square B. See demonstration.

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  1. Roma Salvar

    June 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    This is another nice trick. Sometimes, we cannot trust our eyes especially on the things like this.

    I now understand why most chuby ladies like to wear dark-color clothes. 😀
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  2. carmel

    June 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Colors really do affect how we perceive things visually, even emotionally.

    In addition to Roma’s comment, wearing clothes with vertical stripes can also make a person look taller. :-)
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  3. Offshore Outsourcing

    June 28, 2012 at 7:18 am

    its interesting to see how the use of colors makes difference.

    w.r.t. carmel’s comment i totally agree .In the same way t-shirt with horizontal lines can make you look fat. : )

  4. tatess

    June 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I got the first and the 2nd one wrong.Color background really affect our visual judgement.
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  5. RonLeyba

    July 1, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Colors, lines and even angles plays important roles in designs and physical looks. Thanks for sharing some information about it!
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  6. metalpig design

    July 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

    first time but I got correct answers, all of them.. heheheh <— yabang! :)
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