3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Layout & Design.

Design (from a marketing viewpoint) is all about assisting the communication of a message. If the viewer doesn’t stop to look at what you have to say you can’t fully communicate your message. Obviously there is no “secret formula” for good design, however there are a few simple ways to immediately improve your design, make it more visually appealing and thereby increase the chances that a viewer will stop and read-on.

1: VISUAL BALANCE – Visually balancing your design will help make it more appealing. Think of your design as having elements of weight. Those elements can either be text, photos/images or color. A nice rule to follow is the triangulation rule. Triagulating is laying out elements in some sort of  triangle shaped arrangement. This helps “distribute” the visual weight thereby helping to eliminate “lopsided” designs. It often adds a little visual dynamics as well. Look at the examples of how this triangulation works.

2: WHITE SPACE – It’s very tempting to fill your page up with as much information as possible, and sometimes that may not be avoidable, but from the standpoint of design – less is more. Whether it’s an ad, a mailer, a sign or a poster the purpose is to entice the viewer to STOP. White space has that power. White space doesn’t necessarily mean black type on a white background. Generally its just isolating an image or text without much around it. Think of all the information we’re asked to take-in nowadays. Just glance at a newspaper –it’s pretty much wall-to-wall text and images. Visually, white space is a breath of fresh air. See how white space is used in these examples to isolate a message.

3: CONTRAST – There are a two ways to utilize design contrast. One is with the use of size, the other is with the use of color. When designing any marketing material try keeping this in mind. Think about making something (photo or text) big or extra bold and other elements smaller or lighter. The balance should be rather dramatic. Typically the more dramatic, the more dynamic the design –and the more it will be noticed. Think of a scale –the balance shouldn’t be 55% to 45%, it should be more like 75% to 25%. This concept isn’t about size, it’s about visually contrasting elements. If you enlarge too many elements, you’ve lost the notion of contrast. Color can work in much the same way. Think about using areas of color or colored type to acheive some contrast. Notice how the contrast works in the few examples.

I can’t guarantee that following the above steps will ensure a great design, but I can guarantee that if some form of the above isn’t running through your design it will probably be a boring layout. And BORING LAYOUTS DON’T GRAB ATTENTION.

The above steps are not difficult to incorporate and in the long run will be more effective in getting your message across to your prospects.

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About Ray Bauer

I am an independent designer and marketer operating my own enterprise, rBAUERdesign, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I have an understanding of, and dedication to, the design and marketing process of firms in need of communication solutions. I bring my design, layout, creative and art direction experience and knowledge as well as applied and tested marketing applications from the advertising agencies and marketing firms I've worked at for over 25 years to every job I touch.
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