DESIGN PRINCIPLES CHEAT SHEET
- Accurate, interesting content
- Meeting client’s needs: adhering to the topic and purpose
- Appealing to the target audience
- Visual interest and clarity
■ Focal Point
Give the page a vibrant, interesting focal point. One focal point is perfect!
Present the information in an organized fashion with the most important info first.
■ Eye flow
Organize the page so that the reader is directed through it. For example: focal point leads to title which leads into text.
Don’t overcrowd the page. Organize the information so that there is space between items, reduce text to its minimum amount of copy where possible.
Simple is elegant and strong.
Squint at the page to see it for its graphic impact. Is it a pleasing interaction of positive and negative shapes?
Unity is a design element that brings balance and harmony to a work of art. When there is unity there is a sense of completion, and it is pleasing to the eye. To achieve unity you have to have similar colors and shapes throughout the work, fonts have to flow together, proximity of the shapes, repetition, and continuation.
This advertisement for coke shows unity with the colors and shapes and text it uses throughout the entire picture.
Use contrasting fonts, and/or contrast in size, color, weight, form, direction. Use color contrast effectively.
Repeat (existing) elements as a way to unify the page/site.
Stick to one alignment. Make the most of existing alignments: text, photos, etc.
Become aware of how to break this rule of one alignment also.
Group information that belongs together and pay attention to the alignment of info that is separate but still related.
■ Legibility & Readability
Choose a legible typeface, handle it in a manner that enhances its readability: point size, line length, background, etc.
■ Selecting & Mixing
Select a typeface that feels appropriate to the content and mood of the topic! If you use 2 typefaces, be sure they contrast well: serif and sans serif, old style and modern, etc.
■ Typographic refinements
Use beautiful punctuation! Kern large type!
Print and proof! Proof until your eyeballs burn! Read backwards, check for one type of error at a time, check your copy against the original copy, have someone else proof your work too.
■ Typos, grammatical errors
■ Inaccurate information
■ Consistency: type, color, layout, spacing, etc.