Rules of Good Design and Layout

All designs have certain basic elements or building blocks chosen to convey the message — beyond the actual words or photos used. How we place those items on the page determines the structure of our designs and affects the overall readability and determines how well our design communicates the desired message. The principles of design govern that placement and structure.

Graphic design encompasses the creation of a great many types of projects but for the purposes of these lessons we’re focusing on the elements and principles of design as they apply to typical desktop publishing projects including logos, ads, brochures, business cards, newsletters, books, and to some extent, Web pages.

Different instructors or designers have their own idea about the basic principles of design but most are encompassed in the 6 principles of:

* balance
* proximity
* alignment
* repetition or consistency
* contrast
* white space

One space after punctuation; no double-hard returns; fewer fonts; appropriate text alignment; limit use of centered text; balance line length; limit all caps; typographical punctuation; use frames wisely; less clip art; more white space

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