Basic Rules on Page Layout and Color

Basic Rules on Page Layout and Color
 by: Granny's Mettle

For one to be able to stand out from the rest, one needs to go out of the box, break the rules, and some other clich?that apply to breaking out from the traditional. But before breaking any rule, you have to understand first the basic and foundation of the rule itself.

First off, let's talk about page layout.

The Rule ? Too much boxes is bad for your health.

One designer said that a mark of a designer is when he or she starts to use boxes and rules in his or her pages. When you look at your page and realize the need to make something attractive and creative out of the boring stuff you've just made, and then decide to throw around a box or two or place rules between columns, then that's the time when your creativity is getting out from confinement.

Before using all the box there is in your software, just remember to do it in moderation. Anything in excess is a bad thing. Sure, boxes and rules are a good way to highlight important information. But if you're going to do it in all your pages, or put virtually everything in a box, then nothing will stand out from the crowd.

The Rule ? Do not divide the page in halves.

The best way to infuse excitement and innovation in your documents is to divide the page into thirds. Afterwards, place the most important objects like the headings, photos, and visuals, at the top or bottom third.

Let's go to color.

The Rule ? Contrasting colors make for greater readability.

Any designer knows that enough contrast between the text and background makes for easy reading of text and material. Often, dark text is used on a light background. And vice versa.

Although light text on a dark background is easy to read, this technique should be used sparingly. It's proven fact that the eyes get more tired when reading large quantities of text on a dark background, than the other way around.

The Rule ? Use color sparingly.

For impact, designers choose to create their design on more than a single color. But color thrown around everywhere also loses its impact. The rule of thumb: for maximum impact, use color on headings, and the most important words in headings.

The Rule ? Do not use complementary colors.

Colors that can be found opposite each other in the color wheel are called complementary colors. For example, blue is opposite orange in the color wheel. When used side by side, the complementary colors can create havoc in our eyes because it would be difficult to focus on both at the same time. In addition, the colors may seem to vibrate when viewed together.

The Rule ? Do not use color screened more than 40% with text.

Anything darker than 40% color against a text can make it harder to read. However, you can vary this rule somewhat by calculating how dark the color will be. For example, green can be screened darker than blue to make the text stand out.

For best results, use a Pantone book for tints to show you different screens for every color. In addition, the Pantone book will help you see what is readable and what is not with both text and reversed text on the screens.

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This article was posted on April 04, 2005

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