Whether you’re designing a page for print, or a website, there are some common principles you can apply to ensure balance.

The primary objective of any page you design, whether it’s for a printed brochure or the latest web app, is to communicate information clearly and effectively to the reader. One of the best ways to ensure that the key messages are delivered to the reader is to create a balanced layout.

Page layout typically involves a lot of placement, rearranging and formatting of elements. Many designers approach this process organically, feeling their way to a pleasing end result. While this can lead to some excellent happy accidents, there is a risk that using a free-form methodology can result in a lack of visual balance on the page.

A good page composition should be both pleasing to the eye, but also communicate those key messages clearly to the intended audience. We’ve collected together some top tips to help you ensure your page layouts have balance. These approaches will work well to provide a structure for balance, regardless of the medium you’re working with.

01. Use a grid

Create balanced layouts 1

One of the easiest ways to ensure your page has a degree of balance is to use a grid system. Grids used to be the sole preserve of the printed page, but much work has been completed online in the past few years to help migrate the concept of the grid across to the digital medium.

By using a grid to inform the position of different elements on a page, you’ll create a connection between the different elements that make up your page. This can help provide a sense of order to your layout, providing the reader with a clear structural reference to fall back on. This is important because when all your page elements have a feeling of connectivity with each other, the overall effect feels more comfortable to the reader, helping to put them at ease, and facilitating their access to the important stuff: the content!

02. Choose a single focal point

Create balanced layouts 2

One of the most effective ways to provide a sense of balance is to choose a single focal point for your layout. A good example of this in practice is the use of a large image as the biggest single element on a page.

A strong visual can provide a powerful way to lead the reader into your page, and also supplies a useful structural element around which to arrange the remaining content in your layout. If you have multiple visual elements, use the proximity principle of Gestalt Theory to group them together, aligning them in the same way.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can use a headline or pull quote in the same way; a good display headline can offer as much visual interest as an image, while continuing to provide the structure that will help you ensure a balanced layout.

03. Use the Rule of Thirds

Create balanced layouts 3

One of the best ways to provide a sense of balance is to use the designer’s favourite Rule of Thirds or Golden Ratio. Put simply, the rule of thirds says that if you divide your page into thirds both vertically and horizontally, the points at which the grid lines intersect provide the natural focal points of a composition. By aligning your key elements to these four points, you’ll achieve a more pleasing composition than if you, for example, perfectly centre elements on your page.

In itself the rule of thirds won’t magically provide your layout with balance, but by extending the principle it’s easy to use this tendency towards a natural focal point to help inform the balance of your layout. A common approach is to place the most important elements of your page in the upper (or lower) third of the page, with the primary focal point aligned to match one of the intersections.

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04. Use white space

Create balanced layouts 4

It’s common for novice designers to make use of every single bit of space on a page, stuffing in content until every gap has been filled. The more experienced know that sometimes the best bit of design involves leaving elements out, rather than shoehorning them in.

In the printed medium, the most common way to make use of white space is by enlarging the page margins and gutters. On the web, simply providing plenty of breathing room around elements can help make the layout feel composed and balanced. Using negative space works best when you have a clear structure that anchors content together (such as that provided by a grid), as the risk of white space can be a sense of disconnection between page elements if introduced haphazardly.

05. Repeat design elements

Create balanced layouts 5

Another Gestalt principle, repetition can provide a strong sense of connected design and balance to a composition. The idea is that by identifying and re-using a motif or design treatment throughout your layout, you can provide a reference for the reader so that disparate areas feel connected and part of the same overall composition.

You can also use this technique to provide a focal point in your design, while retaining an overall balance, by intentionally breaking the pattern of similarity introduced through repetition.

06. Use hierarchy

Create balanced layouts 6

One of the key approaches to achieving layout nirvana is a clear sense of structure and hierarchy. We’ve already touched on structure, but it’s important to also convey the relative importance of different pieces of content on your page. A headline, for example, should almost always be more visually important than paragraph content.

Look at the different elements that make up your page and decide which is the most important. Use this element to provide a structural hook for the remaining elements on the page,

07. Use scale, contrast, and harmony

Create balanced layouts 7

Finally, the use of scale can be a very effective method for achieving a good visual balance in your layout. By making some elements larger than others, a sense of order and hierarchy will emerge. This helps create a comfortable layout because the viewer will automatically look at the larger elements within the layout first, progressing through to the smaller elements as they read.

This principle also works with increased contrast, so that by isolating an element on the page through contrast will make the eye focus on that point first. This provides a way in to the page, and again gives a useful structural point to develop your layout from.

Both scale and contrast work best when they apply to one element, making it stand out from the other parts of your layout. Use the principles of harmony to make the others feel connected and accentuate the focal point.

WordsSam Hampton-Smith

by guest blogger Ben Rutter
QR codes are not a novelty. They are an established way to tie print material to mobile and online sites. And yet, we still see QR codes that do not operate as intended. If other advertising and marketing campaigns were produced so shoddily, someone would lose a job. But no. QR codes are still considered some magical voodoo.
For retailers looking for mobile-engaged consumers in the 14-21 range, I am your target market.
If you want to talk to me, please don’t make it dumb, don’t make it useless, and don’t make it static. 
If you want to talk to me, your channel of communication better work correctly.
No Brainers:
  1. Choose a reputable QR code generator.
  2. Test your code throughout the create and print process.
  3. Tie the landing page to a mobile site, not a static website.
  4. Have something engaging and interactive on the mobile site.
  5. Target your campaign to my general age level or older. Cartoons are not appropriate unless they also work for the 21 year olds. Don’t lure me into something that is designed for a younger audience. That is just insulting.
  6. If I opt in, respect my privacy and don’t spam me.
  7. Don’t expect to make me a customer for life. Instead, understand that I have generously given you a few moments of my time. If you do your part well, your brand will be viewed favorably and possibly even shared.
  8. Need I say it? Have a way to share stuff from your mobile site. If you don’t, you are losing out on the best marketing opportunity possible with the under-21 market.
  9. Support your mobile campaign with other channels and loyalty offers so I know you are credible and really do care about my demographic.
  10. Thank me for my attention.

 

Ben_Rutter_PrintMediaCentr

I’ve mentioned this before, but retailers need to give the youth market some credit. We are savvy consumers. If you insult our intelligence or take advantage of us, you may alienate us irrevocably.

But if you’re smart in how you present your mobile campaigns to us, you may end up with a brand advocate, maybe not forever but for a good long time.
Ben Rutter operates “Tomorrow’s Paper”. He’s 14 years old.

Hello to all my fellow bloggers and Happy New Year! Well, in a few days or so… Anyway I just wanted to send off 2012 with one more post. Some great videos I’ve found about business cards. Don’t forget, Rego’s Graphic Design can help you design just the right card for you and your business. See you next year!


By  posted on September 5, 2012 10:40 am

Today we come across a great how-to video by UK artist Pahnl. After having worked as a stencil artist since 2003, he thought it was time to take a look behind the scenes. On the example of his artwork, ’And I’m Not Going To Take This Anymore’, he shows in a step by step process how the painting is being created. While some may think that the art of stenciling is simple, the video will show you how much detailed work is actually needed in order to get the job done.

Enjoy!

By | Published August 7, 2012

social media how to

Are you looking to build a strong Pinterest following?

Did you know that you can integrate your Facebook and Pinterest marketing?

Yes, there’s a way to get Facebook fans to create exposure for you on Pinterest.

Establishing a large audience of followers on Pinterest is one of the most important aspects of a successful Pinterest marketing campaign.

Here’s the skinny: Although during the setup process you can choose to link your Pinterest account to your Facebook personal page, there is currently no way to automatically hook up to your Facebook fan page.

So what’s a business to do?

The truth is most business owners have not figured out a solution. They are failing on Pinterest because they think that they have to build a new following from scratch. Well, that is patently untrue.

Here are five ways to use Facebook to build your Pinterest following.

#1: Get a Pinterest Tab for Your Facebook Fan Page

The easiest thing to do is just go to Woobox and create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.

woobox
Easily get a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page from Woobox.

It’s very simple to do and requires little to no technical skills. Within minutes, you can have your Pinterest account in front of thousands of your fans! This way, whenever people come to your Facebook page to either check out your latest posts or learn more about you, they can also see that you are on Pinterest.

The Pinterest tab allows fans to view all of your boards and even your pins while staying on the Facebook platform. They will not be transferred over to Pinterest until they try to repin or comment on one of your pins.

pinterest tab fb fan page
Within just a few clicks you can easily create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.
inside the pinterest tab
Inside the Pinterest tab as seen on the Facebook fan page.

#2: Post Pinterest Links as Updates on Your Facebook Page

There are a few different ways to use your Facebook status updates to promote your activity on Pinterest.

One way to build your follower base is to share the direct link to your Pinterest page as a status update and tell your fans WHY they should follow you on Pinterest.

What helpful information or cool contests will they have access to? Are there exclusive promotions? Why should they follow you on Pinterest AND Facebook?

facebook status update example
Example post of a Facebook status update promoting a Pinterest business account.

The more specific you can be about the type of value you are creating for your followers on Pinterest, the more likely your fans will join you there too.

#3: Promote Specific Boards on Your Facebook Page

On Pinterest, people can choose to either follow all, or just a few, of your boards.

Because of that feature, you may find success promoting specific Pinterest boards on your Facebook fan page.

I recommend you promote a few different boards throughout the week.

That way, you have the opportunity to showcase your Pinterest account to a wider audience on Facebook, and you can introduce them to the diverse areas of value shared on your Pinterest page.

There are two ways you can promote a specific Pinterest board on Facebook.

  • Update your status by uploading an image of a pin to Facebook. Add a description and include a link to the board on which that pin is featured.
facebook pinterest board example
Example Facebook post promoting a particular Pinterest board.

This works well if you have a really compelling image, because it will be granted more space on the Facebook newsfeed than a link.

  • Post the link to your Pinterest board as part of a status update. An image of one of your pins on that board will be automatically generated.
full board view
Generate a full board preview (photo and all) by posting the board’s direct URL .

Posting the link will also automatically include the text in your board description.

Make sure that you add proper descriptions of the content when setting up your boards. I’m always amazed by how few people take advantage of this opportunity.

Look how brilliantly realtor Raj Qsar utilizes this space for his branding purposes.

His board description reads:

“Raj Qsar & Premier Orange County Real Estate – is one of the most dominant Real Estate Teams in the Orange County Real Estate Market. For over 15 years Team Raj Qsar has held the philosophy to give the best service and most qualified advice to both buyers & sellers.

Implementing honesty and integrity at the highest level possible and to enjoy the entire process along the way. We are truly passionate about real estate.”

raj qsar team
Take advantage of the description area below your board titles for adding value to your brand and board.

To add a description to one of your boards, simply click Edit Board and fill in the Description field.

edit board
Add a description to your board by clicking the “Edit Board” button at the top of your Pinterest board page.

#4: How to Promote a Particular Pin

Sometimes the best way to really serve your Facebook community is to highlight the value that you are providing in one particular pin.

This is a great way to get maximum exposure when pinning your own original content. Remember these posts can and will be shared across Facebook by your fans.

The same two strategies apply here, as they do to promote a specific board above. You can either upload the image of the pin as a status update (or include a link in the image description), or you can just include the direct link to the pin in your status area.

promote a particular pin
Promote a particular pin by pasting the pin’s direct URL into your Facebook status update.

When you post a direct link to a pin as a status on Facebook, the following information will be automatically added and visible:

  • The image of your pin
  • The name of the board that includes the pin
  • The caption that has been added to your pin

So make sure you have fully optimized both your board title and caption for maximum impact. Focus on creating intriguing board titles and including a further explanation of value in the caption.

#5: Promote Your Pinterest Contests on Facebook

Contests and promotions are becoming all the rage on Pinterest. They are a very effective way to quickly add a lot of new followers and drive a ton of traffic to your site.

Unlike Facebook, there are no real restrictions regarding the way contests are promoted and hosted on Pinterest. A great way to leverage both platforms is to promote your Pinterest contest on your Facebook fan page.

pinterest contest facebook fan page
Example of how Bergdorf Goodman promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page.

Bergdorf Goodman recently promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page by posting an image of one of the prizes with a brief explanation. They included a link to their blog within the description of the image where fans could find more details about how to enter.

Hopefully you’ve found these five ways to use Facebook to build your audience on Pinterest helpful. I know from personal experience that introducing your fan base to your presence on Pinterest is an effective way to get more followers.

Despite all the hype surrounding Pinterest, Facebook is still the largest social media network. Why not leverage the audience you have already built there and let them fast-track your success on Pinterest?

Pizza Digitale QR Code Advertisement: Scholz and Friends Hamburg wanted to hire the most talented digital creatives from other major agencies. And for this they came up with a special pizza – ‘Pizza Digitale’. In cooperation with the Croque Master, these special pizzas were added to every order for four weeks from other major agencies’ employees. The toppings of tasty tomato sauce, shaped like a QR-Code, directly links to a mobile landing page. Employees of the other major agencies who have enough digital competence were able to decode the Pizza Digitale made an addition to Scholz and Friends’ Digital Department.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 1

Copywriters Crossword QR Code Advertisement: To hire the best copywriter in Warsaw a crossword dedicated to the advertising business was published in the biggest marketing magazine in Poland. And this got the top copywriters from advertising agencies in the city, but none knew that the crossword was the part of the recruitment process. Crossword turned into a QR code on completion. 300 candidates were able to complete the crossword and the QR code displayed the direct phone number of the creative director for recruitment.

AXA Bank QR Code Advertisement: For the launch of their renovation loan, AXA Bank created one of the largest and most beautiful QR codes in Belgium. They created this by placing thousands of different colors of tins of paint to form an oversized QR code.

HandheldCulture QR Code Advertisement: HandheldCulture an electronic bookstore needed to encourage people to read more, and drive sales. But due to long working hours, people didn’t have much time to read. So HandheldCulture required to find extra time in order to sell their electronic books. Another interesting factor was that the people here never lazied their time except when they are queuing. The creative solution was to utilize the queuing time for reading. And so the restaurant queue number paper slips were used as the medium. So they printed short quotes from 100 good books on different paper slips along with QR code that allowed queuing customers who were waiting, to access and download the entire book on their smartphone or mobile device.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 2

HomePlus Subway Virtual Store QR Code Advertisement: HomePlus had fewer stores compared to the competitors’ and people tend to buy from the stores near to their homes. HomePlus wanted to increase their sales without increasing the number of stores. So HomePlus decided to take the store to the people and created virtual stores in subway stations hoping to blend into people’s everyday lives. Although this was virtual store, the displays were exactly the same as actual stores – from the display to merchandise. The only difference was that the customers needed to use their smartphones to shop now. The smartphone would take the QR code and the product lands automatically in your shoppingcart. When the online purchase is done, it would be sent to the customer’s door right after they got home.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 3

Cup Sleeve QR Code Advertisement: ‘Headline News’ Cup Sleeves were created and in partnership with Tim Hortons, (known for its coffee and doughnuts); a special news print was designed that pulled out the latest news tweets (updated hourly) and prints them on the coffee sleeves. When Tim Hortons customers received a cup of coffee, they also received the headline news of the hour, and QR code on the sleeve then directed them to the News website where they could read the full story.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 4

Cup QR Code Advertisement: When the QR cup was filled with beverage it revealed a QR-code.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 5

Cardboard QR Code Advertisement: Many people want to give cash gifts directly to those who needed it but aren’t sure how their money would be used. For this QR codes were printed on cardboard and placed alongside blankets, shopping bags and empty bottles, items normally associated with such a person. The QR codes linked directly to a page where members of the public could give money though a proper channel.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 6

Frozen QR Code Advertisement: QR codes were placed on the frozen Amsterdam’s canals and had the link to the site that has information on the it. And once the temperature started rising up, the message was clear.

Creative QR Code Based Advertisements (7) 7

Jive Talk CD Package QR Code Advertisement: To advertize their latest album, an interactive cd design was created. Once the smartphone takes the QR code, you need to place your smartphone over the band members’ mouths and watch them sing their music!

POSTED BY VENUS AT FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

 

Minnesota-based graphic designerMatthew Olin believes there is a connection between typography and superheroes. 

In his illustrated series called ‘Superhero Typographic Classifications’, he pairs various fonts together with famous superheroes—dissecting their unique characteristics and drawing similarities between the two. 

Describing his project, Olin says “…we can draw analogies between the elements of design and those of superheroes in an attempt to create clarity, educate and inspire.” 

In doing so, we can champion our profession as leaders in organizing chaos and creating change in an informed word,” Olin adds. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[via Matthew Olin, images via Behance]