Ten Design Tips

Paper icon, showing that grade A+Design choices matter for all of the projects you will do in this course—and ultimately for everything your write in your career. Make sure that your projects pay attention to each of these ideas. There is more information on each idea in the linked Lynda.com video.

  1. When an image is combined with words and they aren’t legible, the message is lost.

  2. Contrast is a critical ingredient in every design. Ensure good contrast between text and background.

  3. Emphasize ten percent or less of text to make sure the key information stands out.

  4. Use negative space (or white space) to create a powerful composition.

  5. Avoid presenting a "wall of text" by understanding how we "chunk" visual elements.

  6. Maintain a visual hierarchy by using headings and subheadings that lead the viewer and reader.

  7. Make sure that your headings and subheadings create information-rich signposts for readers.

  8. Limit typefaces to two per document. Any more than that gives your text a messy or unprofessional appearance.

  9. Favor flush-left, ragged-right body text. Save centered text for graduation announcements and party invitations.

  10. Design for online reading by making your content easy to scan quickly.