How to use this 226 year old rule




Why do certain thumbnails, slide decks, and websites look so good?

Much of it comes from a certain natural flow of elements, called the Rule of Thirds. This rule was first coined 226 years ago, even though its natural flow is something we can't resist.

Now, major movie studios have billions of dollars on the line to nail this rule perfectly.

But first, thanks to everyone who signed up for 1:1 calls last week. 40 people responded to the survey which ended up being about 1.5%. I had no expectations, but overall pleased with this being a new newsletter asking for something from you.

And if you're in LA, you should check out Khe Hy's podcast ​launch party​ this week.

Lastly, if you're one of the 180+ people here for the first time this week—welcome! I think we have something special here.

Give me three minutes to show you:

📏 How billions of dollars hinge on the Rule of Thirds

🕹️ How one YouTuber quickly creates 500 thumbnails effortlessly

🕯️ How to design a home with light

How to use the rule of thirds

A common question I get asked is how to make something look well-designed. As in, where do you even start?

For anything with a small amount of space (slides, profile backgrounds, thumbnails) you first want to focus on creating a simple visual hierarchy.

For instance, let's say you have a header, subhead, image, and button to design with. That's four elements that need to be given an order of visual priority.

Determine which deserves the most focus, and use the rule of thirds to give it a spot on the page. You can start by reading the post below and following some of the instructions I give.

🎨 Better Design Decisions

​How this one creator creates hundreds of thumbnails at lightning speed​: Thomas Frank has created over 500 thumbnails, and he shows his entire setup on how to streamline his process. (Twitter link)

​How to design a home with light​: What many people don't realize is how transferrable the knowledge of design plays across domains, like from the web to interior design.

​Get inspired by these email marketing campaigns​: This is one of my favorite sites to check out how other brands are reaching their customers.

📸 Make It Yours Moment

​Learn to make better YouTube thumbnails by those with $Billions on the line​: My thread breakdown of how movie studios have billions staked on their thumbnails and covers using this rule.

Next week, I'll talk about landing pages and how the one I created netted me 8k in just two hours of work. See you next Sunday!

Your friend in design,


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