By Debra Woodfork
Finding balance on a daily basis can be a task in itself. For most, finding that perfect work/life balance is key when trying to manage all the “to do” lists we seem to compile. Design is no different; you are trying to arrange text and graphics in an aesthetically pleasing way, while also managing to effectively communicate.
I am often reminded in my own work today that making good design decisions involve a conscious use of the basic principles and elements of design. As a designer, you have to be aware of knowing when you’ve done too much in enhancing the visual impact of a layout. There will be times when you are given a lot of text to incorporate and times when you are given very little. Being aware of how to approach a layout using the principles and elements of design are one way to balance the “to do” list of any design problem.
The Principles of Design include:
- Balance, Emphasis, Rhythm and Unity
Next time you are designing (or working with a designer) for a print piece, consider the above and ask yourself if the page layout demonstrates an effective use of these concepts.
One exercise you might want to try is to look back at a recently designed layout and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this layout demonstrate a balanced use of space and shape in terms of text and graphics?
- Does this layout have good emphasis in communicating an intentional hierarchy of information for the viewer?
- Does this layout have a rhythmic approach to how elements are arranged on the page?
- Does this layout help to unify all elements into one cohesive unit?
Debra Woodfork, is the production and design manager at the Association of Corporate Counsel and a Board member of the DC Chapter of AIGA.