Part IV: Putting it
all together

• Planning a
cohesive design
• Thumbnails
• Designing to a format
• Grids and systems
• Developing judgment
• TRY IT: 10 minute critique/
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The bottom line: a summary

  • Before you design anything, set the goals, identify the audience, and gather appropriate content.

  • Create a strong visual hierarchy. Keep first things first.

  • Organize and display text and images in a balanced, consistent layout which is appropriate to the goals of the piece.

Remember your mission: to attract and direct the reader's eye

  • The top of the page is the most dominant location. Beyond that, use the tools in a designer's toolbox - visual contrast, typographic hierarchy, placement on the page - to guide them.

  • Use thumbnails and grids to play with and establish the structure before laying out actual pages on the computer.

Be consistent: Use alignment, repetition and proximity.

  • Repetition is not boring; it gives your piece a graphic identity that reinforces the messages and makes your piece more memorable.

  • A consistent approach allows readers to follow your lead and confidently predict the location of information.

  • Establish a grid and a style for handling your text and graphics, then stick to it. Build a consistent rhythm and unity across all pages.

  • ALIGNMENT: This means aligning text and graphics to your layout grid or guidelines, which makes your work look more organized and is easier to follow.

  • REPETITION: Humans love pattern; it makes us feel secure and content. If you choose a graphic theme or font or supporting element such as a rule, use it throughout. The style should evolve naturally from the goals, appropriate content and layout.

  • PROXIMITY: This means to to keep things that belong together close together on the page, which will make it easier for viewers to make connections. For example, you wouldn't want the price of your catalog item to be far away from its photograph.

next: Thumbnails