Three is a prominent motif in both written communication and design.

The “rule of three” is consistently used by writers to convey ideas. Alexandre Dumas gave us the three musketeers. Shakespeare's Macbeth tells of three witches, three murderers, and three apparitions. Children's stories regale us with tales of three bears, pigs, blind mice and men in a tub.

The “rule of thirds” is also a principle employed by designers and photographers, involving the division of a canvas into vertical and horizontal thirds. Using these planes to place important elements has been shown to be most pleasing to human perception.