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Desktop Publishing C.R.A.P.

An introduction to C.R.A.P. (contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity) for a DTP I class.

Abby Olsen

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of Desktop Publishing C.R.A.P.

Desktop Publishing

The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements on the page that are merely similar.
If the elements (type, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc.) are not the same, then make them very different.
Contrast is often the most important visual attraction on a page.
Making elements only “slightly different” confuses the user into seeing a relation that doesn’t exist.
If you don’t have contrast, you have conflict.
Two purposes of contrast...
Creates interest on the page
Aids in the organization of information
Ways to create contrast...
Large type with small type
Thin line with thick line
Horizontal with vertical element
Font styles
Cool colors with warm colors
Small graphic with large graphic
Things to avoid:
Don’t be a wimp!
Do contrast with strength!
Avoid using two font styles that are similar.
Avoid using slightly different rulings.
Avoid using similar shades of color.
Which one would you read?
Contrast is critical to the organization and purpose of the information in your document.
A page is more attractive when you use contrast.
Contrast and Organization
To repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire piece.
Creates consistency throughout the document.
Adds visual interest
Makes your document more likely to be read
What does repetition do for your document?
Repeat strong, bold typefaces
Repeat Angles
Repeat Shapes
Repeat like elements
More Fonts
Repeat Alignment
What do you see?
Nothing should be placed on any document arbitrarily!
Every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page.
This creates a stronger unit!

As a designer, you need to:
Make all elements on a page appear to be unified, connected, and interrelated.
Create a visual tie between separate elements in your document.
Organize the page
Creates the "look" you want your document to have
“The result of using alignment is like what happens when you pick up all the baby toys that were strewn all around the floor and put them all in one toy box.”
-Robin Williams
How many text alignments can you find on this page? How many times does your eye stop?
Create a strong, vertical edge to follow.
(Use left and right alignments!)
Formal Balance
Symetrical Balance
When a design can be evenly divided vertically, horizontally, or both, it has formal or symmetrical balance.
Informal Balance
Asymetrical Balance
Centered alignments work well for formal events.
Try and design without using center alignments!
Asymmetrical layouts are generally more dynamic and by intentionally ignoring balance the designer can create tension, express movement, or convey a mood such as anger, excitement, joy, or casual amusement.
Use one alignment per page
If you use more than one text alignment in a document, align them in some way to something else on the page!
Uneven elements present us with more possibilities for arranging the page and creating interesting designs than perfectly symmetrical objects.
Find a strong line and stick with it!
Trapped White Space!
Be conscious of where you place your elements.
Things to avoid...
More than one text alignment on the page.
Center alignment
(unless you have a purpose!)
Be sure to avoid...
repeating an element so much that it becomes annoying!
Be conscious of contrast!
Group related items together.
Move them physically close to each other.
Related items should be seen as a group.
Items that are not related should not be close to one another.
The Key Principle
You should be able to follow a logical progression through your document.
Items relating to one another should be grouped together.
Be conscious of your directional flow.
Where does your eye start?
Where does it go next?
Where does it end?
Don’t make your readers work!
They won’t!
Mrs. Comer-Miller
Proximity helps with organization
**It automatically creates organization
More likely to be read
More likely to be remembered
Helps create more organized white space
Do you want to read this?
Do you think you'll remember this?
Clear beginning and ending...
Establish proper relationships between your elements on a page.
Items that are related should be close together.
Form visual groups
Organize text by importance by using different size of fonts.
Gestalt Theory
Story time!
What is Gestalt?
The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
*Do you see the parts or the whole?
Background vs. Foreground
*It's always changing!
How can we use this principle in design?
Negative or White Space
What is it?
The blank space surrounding the figure.
*Look where the figure is not!
Is the figure defined by the negative space?
Negative space is NOT empty space!
Rule of thumb...
Too much text you don't read it...
Too much white space there's nothing to see...
Gestalt theory investigates the way human beings process visual information.
It's important to figure out what is the figure (forground) and what is the ground (background) in graphic design.
Many beginning designers focus on the figure and neglect the ground. Don't neglect the ground!
White space helps the reader with text.
More text = More white space
Too little space between lines and columns makes text harder to read
When the eye is given enough visual imformation, it will see a continuous shape even when there's a fragmented image.
The use of repetition and gradation creates patterns that fool the eye.
The eye will see a closed shape when confronted with a recognizable image that is incomplete.
Visual Weight
What the eye will notice in the design first.
Directional Flow
Established by organizing and positioning elements in such a way that the reader's eyes are drawn through the text to particular words or images.
Eye flows through the page in a Z-pattern
Lower right corner is often where important information, such as company name, address, phone and logo are placed.
Appropriateness - graphics and text (including fonts) should communicate an appropriate message.
(This includes the use of color!)
Visual Identity...
When you can indentify an organization or company by a particular design.
Bad Design
Plain vs. Awesome
Full transcript