Graphic Design & Techniques. Design for Non-Designers. The First Steps. Know Your Target Audience ~How will they interpret your message? ~What needs are you trying to meet? Find Inspiration ~Keep an idea file for copies of materials where the design/layout have impressed you
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Graphic Design & Techniques
Design for Non-Designers
~How will they interpret your message?
~What needs are you trying to meet?
~Keep an idea file for copies of materials where the design/layout have
~Don’t be afraid to “steal” ideas from others
~Helps to avoid backtracking and loss of time
~Allows you to visually plan out your project (troubleshoot)
Or, a designer may intentionally throw elements out of balance to create tension or a certain mood.
Contrast is often the most important visual attraction on the page.
Five Design Disasters to Avoid
Bored by the monotony of typewritten or single typeface documents.
Do you go wild when confronted by the variety of typefaces available on our computer?
Solution: Use two or three fonts in your document. Make sure that these two fonts are different so that there is no confusion.
Stop shouting. On-line TYPING IN ALL CAPS is considered shouting and is frowned on in most cases.
In print, shouting is never worse than when it is done with decorative or script typefaces. It’s hard to read.
Solution: Avoid using all caps in blocks of text. If you want to emphasize certain info, use a bold face of the font you are using.
Frames are wonderful when used in moderation.
A frame loses its ability to emphasize blocks of text if every other block on the page is boxed.
Solution: Use other ways to show emphasis, such as contrast in font size, bold faces or white space.
A font can set a mood and makes a strong impression. If you select a font that is inappropriate for your subject matter - or one that is too trendy or dated - you will end up confusing your intended audience, or appearing unprofessional.
Solution: Always select a timeless font over a frilly or trendy one. Avoid at all times the following font types: Child’s handwriting, brush scripts, illegible fonts.
There will be exceptions, but very rarely in our communications.
Clip art is abundant and fun to use. It can spice up fliers, newsletters, and posters. Yet too many pictures on a page make it hard for the reader to concentrate on what the documents says.
Solution: Use clip art with moderation and with purpose. Choose clip art that supports your text or illustrates a point.
If the clip art does not enhance your message, choose to use other design elements.
The type should never inhibit
~ Assigning it a color. Warm colors (reds, oranges) come forward and command our attention. Cool Colors (blues, greens) on the other hand, recede from our eyes.
~ Changing the weight of the typeface (thickness of the strokes) to create contrast.
~ Making your newsletter headlines and subheads bolder to create hierarchy.
The Design is intended to help clarify and support the content
~ Use a grid to help organize elements on the page. Make sure that the grid is flexible, but that the grid sections are not too small. Divide the page into four or five columns for most flexibility.
~ Use multiple columns to organize text and visuals into smaller (more easily read) blocks of information.
~ Divide text into two or three equal columns for best results on a standard page.
~ Use a single wider column with a smaller column for pullout quotes and other types of supporting content.
~ If printing, make sure to accommodate for three-hole punch, or other bindery techniques by adding a little extra white space to the inside margin.
~ Grab the reader's attention with headlines -- visually but also in content.
~ Avoid headlines that create interest that is not met by the following copy.
~ Write short clever headlines of five to eight words for ideal results.
~ Use subheads to break the body of text into smaller, more understandable sections.
~ Use block quotes to separate long quotations -- four or more lines --
from the body text.
~ Use captions to clarify and give support to the image. Make sure the image supports and clarifies the content.
Text Organizer (cont.)
~ Use pullout quotes as an excellent vehicle to visually break a large body of text, or to give the reader a summary of what is on the page.
~ Use sidebars, related stories or blocks of information that stands off from the main body of text. They are a good way to add interest and help support the content.
~ When stories feed into multiple columns, set headlines to span all columns of a story.
~ Set bylines and continuation lines smaller than headlines, and with a style that distinguishes them from body text.
~ Set continuation heads above continued stories, and if stories are nested (run in multiple columns at different column depths), use a rule or box to span all columns.
White or Negative Space
~ Leave plenty of white space around type and graphic elements (an eighth to a quarter inch depending on size relative to the layout).
~ Leave a little more white space at the bottom of a page relative to the top of the page (e.g., 0.75 inch at the top and 1 inch at the bottom). This will optically balance the page so it won't look like it is slipping off at the bottom.
~ Create a wide margin to direct the reader's attention into the copy or image area.
~ Use at least a quarter-inch gutter between columns.
~ Use left aligned (unjustified) text to create visual relief. Be careful that the "rag" indents on the right are not too big.
~ Increase leading (white space between lines) to lighten the look of the page.
~ Invite the reader into the page by leaving open space at the top and along the left margin.
~ Use of borders and shading
~ Headlines stand out
~ Format is balanced
What could be Improved:
~ More white space around text
~ Resist the use of hyphenation
~ Allow more space between Header and start of information.
Would this Newsletter attract your reader to the material?
What a difference contrast makes!