Creating a layout that captures the attention of your intended audience begins with understanding how best to use design to communicate your message. The following key design principles are the foundation of any great layout:
Use white space to create an impact
Layouts that are cluttered fail to draw the reader’s eye to important information. Including enough white space (also called negative space) is vital for delivering the intended message. That means having sufficient distance between design elements to separate sections of your design and balance out the positive and negative space.
Group and organize your content effectively
Keeping related design elements together helps to capture the reader’s attention by making information accessible. For example, on an event poster, arrange the event date, time, and place together, to ensure that the reader understands their relationship to each other.
Use key design elements repeatedly
In an effective layout, repeating elements or styling adds coherence, giving readers a design “language” they can learn. As they go through your content, they then know what to expect. For instance, you may select specific colors, also known as a color palette, to use throughout your design.
Add contrast to create visual “pop”
In layout design, contrast is used to make one element different from another using color, fonts, font sizing, and more. It’s eye-catching and attention-grabbing. Use different types of contrast to call attention to the content you want the reader to focus on.
Align content for visual appeal
With content properly aligned, your layout will be appealing and easy to navigate visually. You can align content with a visible grid or using visual alignment tools.
Create a focal point
What do you want the reader to focus on first? This is what’s known as your content focal point. Use your focal point as the starting point for the layout. On a sales web page, a call to action, such as the “Buy Now” button, may be the focal point.
Create content hierarchy
Deciding which elements are the most important in your design will help you to define content hierarchy. Using design features like fonts, font size, font weight, and color, you can visually convey the relative importance of the different content elements in your design.
Armed with these seven principles for creating layouts that capture attention, you’re well on your way to promoting services, events, products, and much more. Next step: jump into Illustrator!