The principles of good layout

What is layout. A layout may be defined as the format in which the various elements of the advertisement are combined. So, it is a blueprint. The function of layout is to assemble the different parts of the advertisement:

  • illustration
  • headlines
  • body text
  • the advertiser’s signature
  • other graphic material

into a unified presentation of the sales message

The elements of layout:

Headlines – Lines of text that are set in larger type for the purpose of attracting readers

Subheads – Subheads can be used to break text into shorter segments, it can also appear beneath a headline, but should not be too detailed.

Picture Captions – When you include photos, artwork or info graphics, you might need a caption to give the reader a bit more detail. Captions are generally set in a small but easy to read font.

Body Copy – The primary text of an article is known as body copy. Any text is generally referred to as copy, while the body copy refers to the bulk of the article.

The principles of good layout:

Balance: – Finding a balance in combining the various sizes ans shapes

Formal or symmetrical

equal weight on either side

(Horizontal or vertical)

Informal and asymmetrical

Balance is unequal

(The rule of odds)

Alignment – Of elements is important in design, whether it is text or images

Text / type – Use simple font faces. left-justified, right justified or centred.

Legible – The measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface.

Readability – How easy it is to read words, phrases, blocks of copy in books, web pages, articles etc.

Images – Big enough. High resolution.

Proximity – Related design elements should be placed together. Any unrelated items, should be spaced apart. ( Items have a relationship to each other and becomes one visual unit which helps to organise or give structure to a layout.

Repetition (Consistency)

Harmony – Not competing, no clutter. There should be one dominant point of interest.

Proportion – Refers to space among elements for a pleasing optical effect

Movement – The flow of text and pictures. Eye movement is the design principle which helps move the eyes of the reader from element to element. If a printed advertisement is to get the reader’s eye to “ move” through it, the layout should provide that.

Unity – Unity in layout refers to keeping the elements of the advertisement together so that the advertisement does not “ fall apart”

Clarity and Simplicity – The layout must be interesting but simple enough so that you do not lose clarity and simplicity of what the advertisement is about..

Emphasis – The focus point in the page. Emphasize certain more important elements. It could be done by varying the size, the colour, shapes or backgrounds.

Create emphasis by using this:

  • Repetition
  • Contrast (contrast of size, weight, position, shape, colour or style)
  • White Space (this should be used very carefully, you don’t want your design to look undone)

Some Guidelines

  • Avoid tombstoning
  • Know the value of each part of the design
  • Build from top down
  • Only put the most important information
  • Have plenty breathing space
  • Use photos / images
  • Be simple
  • Eliminate unnecessary details and use simple backgrounds

How to achieve a good layout for your design

The goal of most advertising is to get people to take some type of action ( to buy what you are selling). How elements of an advertisement are placed on the page can help accomplish that goal.

Try one or more of these layout ideas for a better advertisement.

Ogilvy Layout – Research shows that readers typically look at Visuals, Caption, Headline, Copy and then signature ( the advertisers name, contact information) in that order.

Basic Hierarchy

Z Layout – Mentally impose the letter Z on the page. Place the information you want the viewers to see first along the top of the Z. The eye normally follows the path of the Z. So place your call-to-action (what you want the reader to do) at the end of the end of the Z.

Single Visual Layout – Although it is possible to use multiple illustrations in a single advertisement,

one of the simplest and perhaps most powerful layouts use one strong visual combined with strong

(and short) headline plus body copy.

Single Visual Layout – Although it is possible to use multiple illustrations in a single advertisement,

one of the simplest and perhaps most powerful layouts use one strong visual combined with strong

(and short) headline plus body copy.

Single Visual Layout – Although it is possible to use multiple illustrations in a single advertisement, one of the simplest and perhaps most powerful layouts use one strong visual combined with strong (and short) headline plus body copy.

Using Layout Grids Effectively

There are two main types of layouts: Vertical or landscape and one that has an even number of columns and one that has an odd number of columns. Grids give order to graphic Design. They speed up the design process by helping designers decide where content should be placed rather then where it could be placed.

 

Always use a layout grid for your design

Remember
The Rule of Third
The rule of thirds works by splitting an image into thirds, so you end up with 9 equal sections, then simple place your main subject where the lines intersect.

The Golden Ratio
Creating images based on the Golden Ratio our design will be more likely to appeal to the human
eye.

NOW, WASN’T
THAT FUN.