Distribution: digital or physical.
The document you create is dependent on how you will distribute it. It aﬀects the fonts you choose, the image resolution you provide and more. Brainstorm ways you think your document will be received by readers. Refer to the AEP supplement for considerations for types of distribution.
Get to work
You will probably be creating your document digitally. Review types of software ﬁrst. Which will meet your needs? Then, choose a ﬁnal software program. If you already have software chosen, ﬁnd out what you can and cannot do with it. Things to look for include: • How much control you have over element placement (fonts, images, margins, columns, etc.) • Fonts your software can accept • Images your software can accept • Output for distributionHardware is another major consideration. A small monitor makes it diﬃ cult to see the entire design as a whole. A lack of RAM can have you waiting long periods of time to complete a simple task. Look at the minimum requirements of your software. If your computer doesn’t support it, ﬁnd a solution.8.
Your purpose and content needs to be reﬂected in your design. If you are creating “do it yourself” content, you don’t want to have a complicated design that your audience will never hope to duplicate. If you are presenting a top-of-the-line newsletter that screams “quality”, you’ll want to focus on full color and great design. Examine sites and printed pieces to see how well the design ﬁts with the message that is being communicated.9.
Font faces can be individual or families. Individual fonts can be used for headlines or items you need to draw attention. Families are groups of fonts with a similar design. You can then add italic, bold, etc. to your plain (roman) font for extra emphasis. For example, the font Arial comes with most computers. It can be roman (regular), italic, bold or bold italic – these four fonts constitute a font family. Look at fonts and select a few you might use for your document. NOTE: Some fonts are free while some can be quite expensive. While you may ﬁnd a good font for free, frequently the cost of a font is a reﬂection of the quality work put into creating it.10.
Choosing your fonts is the easy part. Many design schools do not teach much about typography, focusing instead on graphics. From limiting the fonts in a document to grammar, typography can be intense. Go to the Web to ﬁnd out about how to look at type, kerning, widows, orphans and more. Remember to limit your font families to three.11.
Working with grids and lines.
When you read, you take in chunks of information. Using an underlying grid system allows you to consistently place elements within your design. It creates the structure of your document. With a ruler and pencil, trace the following elements on a page of a magazine, advertisement or even Web page so you can see how a grid works. Elements line up to carry your eye through the page’s design.