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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tips on principles of Design

four principles of design: balance, emphasis, rhythm, and unity. Below are some tips on the same.

  • Repeat a specific shape at regular intervals, either horizontally or vertically.
  • Center elements on a page.
  • Put several small visuals in one area to balance a single large image or block of text.
  • Use one or two odd shapes and make the rest regular shapes.
  • Lighten a text-heavy piece with a bright, colorful visual.
  • Leave plenty of white space around large blocks of text or dark photographs
  • Offset a large, dark photograph or illustration with several small pieces of text, each surrounded by a lot of white space.

  • Repeat a series of similarly shaped elements, with even white spaces between each, to create a regular rhythm.
  • Repeat a series of progressively larger elements with larger white spaces between each for a progressive rhythm.
  • Alternate dark, bold type and light, thin type.
  • Alternate dark pages (with lots of type or dark graphics) with light pages (with less type and light-colored graphics).
  • Repeat a similar shape in various areas of a layout.
  • Repeat the same element in the same position on every page of a printed publication such as a newsletter.


  • Use a series of evenly spaced, square photographs next to an outlined photograph with an unusual shape.
  • Put an important piece of text on a curve or an angle while keeping all of the other type in straight columns.
  • Use bold, black type for headings and subheads and much lighter text for all other text. Place a large picture next to a small bit of text.
  • Reverse (use white type) a headline out of a black or colored box.
  • Use colored type or an unusual font for the most important information.
  • Put lists you want to highlight in a sidebar in a shaded box.

  • Use only one or two typestyles and vary size or weight for contrast throughout the publication, presentation, or web site.
  • Be consistent with the type font, sizes, and styles for headings, subheads, captions, headers, footers, etc. throughout the publication, presentation, or web site.
  • Use the same color palette throughout.
  • Repeat a color, shape, or texture in different areas throughout.
  • Choose visuals that share a similar color, theme, or shape.Line up photographs and text with the same grid lines.
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