General Design Considerations

Designing Information Material 4(1+3)

Lesson 2: Principles of Design

General Design Considerations

Some general considerations are to be regarded duty while designing a document. A document should be so designed that it will serve its purpose most effectively and at the least expense. Points to be considered while designing:

  1. Relevance:
    When you are designing a document, the font for printing, the images included in the document, the logos etc should be chosen with regard to their relevance to the subject of the document rather on their ornamental value. A highly decorated document is not only expensive but also out of place – in case of documents that address serious issues.
  2. Proportion:
    The font size of the headings, sub-headings, etc should be so chosen that they attract the attention of the reader, but at the same time do not stick out disproportionately. The same applies to the area left out as border for the headings. If the area is too little, the heading will appear to be out of proportion.
  3. Orientation planning:
    The usual mode of viewing a document is from left to right as in the case of reading most languages, such as the English language. Hence the more important images, logos etc in a document are to be placed preferably at the left hand, top side of the document so that they are easily noticed. The less important ones may be placed towards the right hand, bottom side of the document.
  4. Consistency:
    The width of the margins around a document is to be so chosen that the document appears consistent in layout. Margins, when properly used serve to highlight the contents within the document and enhance readability. The width of the margins should go well in proportion with the text font size and the size of the headings used in the document.
  5. Restraint:
    Use of too many different font styles, sizes etc will weaken the effect of one another. Contrasts are to be used with some restraint. This not only meets the purpose at lesser costs, but also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the document.

Attention to Details:
All the effects made in working out an impressive design will be wasted if the text content of the document is not properly edited and has serious grammar or spelling mistakes. A badly written but elaborately designed document will not serve its purpose as much as does a well- written, but not carefully designed document. Besides documents containing blurred images, illegible text etc will most often be ignored by the reader.

The Total Picture:
While planning a publication, we should try to visualize it in the form, in which it will appear. For example: if it is a newspaper advertisement, then we should try to visualize how the document appears, when placed amongst the other printed matter on the page of a newspaper.

Last modified: Friday, 27 April 2012, 8:00 AM