We propose a new method for assessing the perceptual organization of information graphics, based on the premise that the visual structure of an image should match the structure of the data it is intended to convey. The core of our method is a new formal model of one type of perceptual structure, based on classical machine vision techniques for analyzing an image and multiple resolutions. The model takes as input an arbitrary grayscale image and returns a lattice structure describing the visual organization of the image. We show how this model captures several aspects of traditional design aesthetics, and we describe a software tool that implements the model to help designers analyze and refine visual displays. Our emphasis here is on demonstrating the model’s potential as a design aid rather than as a description of human perception, but given its initial promise we propose a variety of ways in which the model could be extended and validated.