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Making That Page Count - Tips on how you can improve a page layout

Consider this: The human eye perceives shape, color and layout, and transmits the data to the brain where the composition is interpreted. So, is there a way for us to influence this interpretation in a positive manner?

The answer is "Yes", and here are eleven all-natural tips to help you on your composition, layout and design of a good-looking page:

1. My Favorites:

Take out those magazines and scrapbooks that you really like and try to figure why they appeal to you. Is it the color scheme, the layout, the typeface, the use of white space, photos, etc? Note these down and try in incorporate what you like into your page. For example, instead of using too many elements on a page, you prefer a "clean" page with just a solitary photograph and a simple background image.

2. Focusing:

Select a main focus for the page. Remember, your audience should be drawn to this focus. Let's take as an example a photograph of your daughter in her graduation garb - this is the focus and will set the theme for the page. Then choose supporting images and elements like photographs of the graduation ceremony, text with school-inspired fonts and graphic images of a diploma and other school-related images.

3. Go with the flow:

When placing elements on the page, consider a layout, which your audience will find natural and easy to trail their eyes with, leading them to the focal point of the page. Supporting elements should serve to enhance and guide and not to distract therefore it is important not to overcrowd the page with too many supporting elements.

4. Rule of Thirds:

Draw imaginary grid lines on your page; divide your page into thirds - horizontally and vertically. Then place your focal point on one of the junctions where the lines cross. This tip, known as the "Rule of Thirds", is useful in most circumstances where you need to place a single focal element.

5. Imagine a Triangle:

Draw an imaginary triangle on your page, then place supporting design elements at each of the triangle's three points. This will create a visual appeal to your eyes.

6. Odd is good:

People are visually drawn to groupings of odd-numbered elements. So, group your small design elements in groups of three or five. You may want to experiment with larger numbers, but do note that it doesn’t work well with all.

7. Even is also good:

Sections in a page should be created in multiples of two. Two sections or four sections are more pleasing to our eyes than three or five sections.

8. Balancing act:

As with all things, balance is a key factor. Watch the size, contrast, color and complexity of the elements you are using on the page. One of the exceptions of this rule is when you when need a layout to be off-balance or unconventional. Some people use this to create a fresh or "shock" appeal.

9. Repeating and repeating:

Repeat the use of elements or attributes in your layout design. For example, colors (or shades of the same color), texture imprints, and graphical shapes. This adds a sense of uniformity and makes your page appear "tighter".

10. Keeping it close:

Try placing related elements or accents close together in your layout. This helps create the optical illusion that they are actually one element instead of many, but do remember to make them smaller. This is especially useful when you want to use many elements in a single page without making the page appear too busy.

11. Scrap booking:

When composing a page, sometimes it is easier to imagine that you are working on an actual book, for example, a scrapbook.

Think about the things that you'll want to put on this scrapbook and take down notes. Once you have your list of "I want", start collecting and collating them. Examples of these include photographs, borders, color swatches, accents, etc.

Digitize (like scanning) what you need and then have them organized logically in your computer. Once you have all your "ingredients" ready, you can start on your composition.

Well, that wraps up the useful tips on how you can create naturally eye-pleasing layouts on your page design. Have fun with it!

If you need professional help with newsletters, magazines or book layouts, contact Nota Bene Communications so that we can help you get started. Consultation is FREE and there are no strings attached. Call us now at +65 684 11291 or send us an email at info@notabene.com.sg.

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