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5 Must-Haves in Every Layout

Whether you are laying out an advertisement, brochure, or magazine article, the key to grabbing the reader's attention is designing a stunning layout that pulls them in. While layout software can be helpful in designing the final piece, knowing the tips and tricks of great composition is a must if you want the piece to be effective.

Not sure you have the artistic flare to compose the kind of layout that will draw attention? Here are five tips that professional designers use in every layout:

1. Engage the Reader

Take a look at your favorite magazine cover. You will notice that the picture on the cover not only highlights the headlines found inside, but it draws your attention. In most cases, they look straight at the camera (and the reader), and lean toward the headlines.

Don't settle for boring images; choose ones that engage the reader and make them interested enough to take notice of the page.

2. Guide the Reader's Eye

Avoid images that point the reader away from the type - this is not engaging. Instead, use illustrations to draw the reader into the text. One trick is to position the illustration on the left-hand side of the page (with the image pointing inward), to draw the eye toward the right. This is an especially good tactic for postcards and web articles.

mountain majesty, close up on magazine

3. Find the Natural Focal Point

Every image features a natural focal point that draws the eye into the picture. It is vital that you do not cover this focal point with headlines, teasers or other forms of text.

4. Balance the Composition

One of the most difficult composition skills to acquire is learning how to balance the piece. Type and image should never overpower the text, but rather, balance it. One way to do this is to center photos so that headlines run along the bottom, and the text runs along on the sides. This gives the piece a well-balanced look and an engaging feel. Another is to make the text and the images the same width.

5. Go For a More Asymmetrical Design

When trying to balance text and image, many inexperienced designers make the mistake of laying out a more symmetrical design. While this may seem more natural, it can appear dull to the reader. Add more interest by adopting a more asymmetrical layout. Here's how:

  • Use picture boxes to break up the grid
  • Don't be afraid of white space
  • Crop pictures differently to give the page a more random look

full magazine layout image, canoe is visible

Trying Your Hand at Page Layout and Design

Creating a great page layout takes more than simply knowing about fonts, images or even fantastic text. An eye-catching design uses everything together to draw the reader's attention and create a piece of art that gets noticed. If you are new to page design, laying out your first few can seem like a daunting task. These tips were designed to help you begin your journey in design. For more in-depth details, check out the suggested reading below which offers more tips and explains every detail for great composition and design.

Interested in learning more great design tips like this? We are your one-stop resource for all things design and print. Contact us today!




Designing for Print (2nd Edition)
by Charles Conover

REVIEW

A highly visual guide to designing for print media -- from project inception to final production -- now in full color.

Packed with hundreds of informative, illustrated examples, Designing for Print, Second Edition demonstrates methods and techniques for creating top-quality print media projects. Carefully chosen real-world design exercises and problem-solving projects offer hands-on practice to help readers achieve strong designs.

Now presented in a stunning full-color format, this easy-to-use guide has been fully revised and updated for applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. It presents software tricks and tips, along with discussions on scanning, output, and other issues related to digital design for print and electronic media. Up-to-date coverage includes useful skills for getting the most out of the latest technologies. Dozens of sidebars and step-by-step descriptions walk readers through the design process in the same order actual projects are implemented. These steps include:

  • Planning your design
  • Designing with type
  • Designing with photographs
  • Advanced typography
  • Preparing images
  • Illustrating effectively
  • Pre-press production

Filled with content that progresses from planning through execution, Designing for Print, Second Edition gives a peerless introduction to designing all types of print projects.



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