Monday, June 6, 2011     17:19

Design Articles

Creating Visual Impact

A print design project communicates a message, but that message will go unnoticed unless your marketing project has the visual impact to get a reader's attention...Read More

Typography: Choosing the Right Typeface for your Project

The typeface that you choose for your print project is an important piece of the overall design process. With over 20,000 typefaces available and more being created every day, where do you begin? Read More

Optimizing Website Photographs and Graphics

How long do you wait for a website to load before clicking away and trying another URL? Most people won’t wait longer than an average of 8 seconds with a 56K modem. Although many things can effect the load time of a website, improper and overuse of graphics and images is one of the more frequent problems...Read More

Principles of Design

In design, balance is best understood when compared to the physical world. Think of a physical object, such as a glass of water. When the glass is tipped or off balance, it falls over and spills. To keep a scale in balance it must have equal weight...
Read More

Using Dashes in Typography

The shortest dash; should only be used between words or to break syllables at the end of a line of type...
Read More

Creating Visual Impact


A print design project communicates a message, but that message will go unnoticed unless your marketing project has the visual impact to get a reader's attention.

Contrast is a good way to create a noticeable design and layout. Contrast can be size, color, direction, format or the expected verses the unexpected.

Size contrast can involve graphics or type. The greater the difference, the more impact the design will have. For instance, making type size in your headline a little bigger than the body text will not have the same impact as having a very large headline and very small text. I remember seeing a full-page advertisement with a bright background color. The only other item on the page was a very small line of type in a lighter shade of the same color. Since I can still recall the ad, it obviously made an impression.

Using color to impact your design works best when it involves the unexpected or extreme. This does not mean you have to use hot pink and lime green in your design (although this would get attention). Unexpected use of one color in an otherwise black and white layout can draw the eye. Moving one step away from the expected with graphics or photography can also create reader interest. Try using a conceptual image or photo to highlight your main message verses the first thing to come to mind when thinking about your product or service.

Another form of contrast is in the actual design. An unusual fold in a brochure or direct mail piece can add excitement. Imagine a business card that folds out to a standup box. An unusual texture or combination of materials can give a personal “I made this just for you” feeling to a marketing piece. For example, a packaging company could use plain brown cardboard for their brochure. Add interesting color usage and the brochure makes a very individual statement about that particular company.

Use of contrast in a design project is virtually unlimited. With the help of a professional designer you can create strong, creative and effective looks for any marketing materials.

by Patrice Roarke, Creative Director and ownerof Artisan Design Studio.

This article may be re-printed on your website, newsletter or ezine with a credit and link back to: