Blog 1: Optical Illusions on the Screen

For my first blog post I wanted to share some neat links that I basically stumbled across. Since we could choose the topic of our first entry I wanted to share something fun! I was interested in finding an optical illusion that would trick the eye even while displayed on a computer screen. I found an article in the Arts & Culture section on the Huffington post website that had originally appeared on


The article shows a dynamic eye-buzzing black and white checkerboard illusion. You may get a headache if you stare too long! The checkerboard appears to bulge and bubble outward. The square grid background is completely parallel and perpendicular. Though the lines on the board appear skewed, they are not. It is because of the arrangement of dots within the individual squares that our perception is distorted. The dots on the checkerboard are purposefully placed in a pattern. Each of the directional diagonal dots share a centric vanishing point. This illusion is a variation of the famous Hering illusion based on the principles of how the optical image functions. The foreground radial pattern bends the background of perpendicular lines. Cory Albecht illustrated how this illusion functions with the dots on and off of the checkerboard.

Within the black-and-white Slate article, I further researched a mentioned link that led me to another interesting optical illusion featured by Slate. Akiyoshi Kiaoka is the featured artist who created the infamous “Blue and Green” spiral illusion. This illusion is based on the studies of color theory. In this illusion, there appears to be a set of blue spiraling lines and a contrasting set of green spiraling lines. The blue and green lines are actually the same color! The individual spirals are separated by complementary alternating colors. When the color of the spiral is set against orange lines the spiral appears green. When the color of the spiral is set against magenta lines the spiral appears blue. Richard Wiseman illustrated how this illusion functions when the “Blue and Green” are actually compared.



I was really excited that I was able to find more than what I had originally planned to share! I think that it is amazing that an optical illusion can function on a computer screen, equally as well as it does in print. I was personally more impressed by the color theory studies on the screen. This is because I also considered the implementation of exact web colors in these studies. I think that these illusions are fun to share, but also open up your mind to more possibilities and experiences that can be created on the web created through illusions. There is a limited amount of space to design based on the size dimensions of your computer screen, but there is an infinite amount of space that can be created within the screen with the maximum use of explored design principles.

These illusions are very inspiring! I am interested in creating my own color studies using web colors. I am also interested in creating a “vanishing point” on the computer screen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s