Design Concepts

Good design relies on the specific project:
Purpose of the project  Relative priority of each part

Consider…
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Audience Basic message Best or intended format Similarity to competitors Relationship to my other communications

Planning

Use pencil and paper first

Analyze

Find out what appeals to you

Analyze it according to design principles

Find out what annoys you

Dissect and identify what does not work

Clip File

Collect all types of print media that appeal to you
Continuously add items  Choose based on specific design elements, such as use of bleeds or color.  Use examples as inspiration

Qualities of printed documents


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Relevance Proportion Direction Consistency Contrast The ―total picture‖ Restraint Attention to detail

Relevance

Each element helps the reader ―get the message‖ Watch out for software bells and whistles—
Clarity  Organization  Simplicity

Proportion

Size does matter Importance determines size

Relative importance determines size and space
Include white space and adjacent elements when determining size  Use the same concept when choosing rule thickness  Crop photos, resize to fit importance

Direction

Guide the reader’s eye logically through your publication…

Consistency

Be consistent from page to page
Text – typeface, size, subheads…  Paragraph indents, white space between columns, margins  Graphic elements –borders, lines, columns

Contrast

Compare dark areas and lighter areas

Higher impact – more contrast
Definite light and dark areas  Lots of white space and illustrations

Text-rich – low in contrast
Formal reports  Press releases

The ―total picture‖

Consider delivery environment
News ad surrounded by stories/articles and other ads  Brochure on rack or table  Flyer sitting in the mailbox

Restraint

Strive for simplicity
Too much gimmickry looks cluttered  Everything emphasized is nothing standing out  Choose typefaces, styles, and sizes to fit the message—keep to a few

Attention to Detail

One offending detail ruins the appearance – and effectiveness
Rivers of white space within large blocks of text  Widows and Orphans  Proofreading spelling and grammar

Other Common Pitfalls


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Trapped white space Too small column gutters Headlines too small Borders too close to text Jumping Horizons Too much detail on charts Isolated heads, subheads

More Pitfalls


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Floating subheads Overused boxes and rules Unusually shaped text blocks Too little contrast between typefaces Overuse of rotated type Underlining Unequal spacing Too much gray

Still more Pitfalls


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Too many hyphens Cramped logos/addresses Visuals too similar Too many typefaces Misaligned elements across pages Overuse of special effects, gimmicks Shoehorning

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