Designing for Visual Impact

Keeping designs interesting can seem like a daunting task, but it is easier than you might think. Here are a few treatments that will make yours pop off the page.

  1. Use text as a design element that calls attention to what’s being said and helps readers focus on what’s important. Mix it up with different font sizes, bolding, italics, and colors to lead readers where you want them to go – and help them enjoy the journey.

  2. Sidebars don’t have to be in a box. You can put them in a circle, half-circle, oval, octagon, or a free-form shape. You can also add color to the shape to grab attention.

  3. Captions don’t have to be placed under pictures. They can be placed around an oval, on top of a square, or running up the side of a rectangular image. The unusual placement will draw attention to the caption – which is a great place to state another benefit rather than using it as a run-of-the-mill label.

  4. Pull-quotes don’t have to be square paragraphs in the middle of a page. Add a wavy shape to them, and extend them the width of the page. Rotate them so they sit on a diagonal to the copy. Place them in the margin of the page, or use them to separate two paragraphs in a column of copy. Like sidebars, you can put pull-quotes in boxes with unusual shapes and colors.

Let your imagination run wild, and you’ll find all kinds of ways to keep your designs visually appealing, while keeping them readable too.

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Published: July 12, 2007

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