NOTE: Thanks to flying_leaves for questioning two of the diagrams below. I’ve since clarified the two diagrams, and have included them here.
Below is an infographic that illustrates how things that occur in Nature can be applied to design. It provides an example of how a conceptual hierarchy (in this case, CARS > PICKUPS > 4-CYLINDER) can be supported by a corresponding visual hierarchy. Verbal analogies are translated into visual analogies: 4-CYLINDER is a subset of PICKUPS as PICKUPS is a subset of CARS.
Proportions are a good way to visually illustrate analogies that are presented in typographic form. In this infographic, proportions are used to determine the relative x-heights of headings, subheadings and body copy. The negative spaces between successive lines of text are given equal consideration. Even the width of the text columns (i.e. measures) can be included in this network of proportions.