Essential Page Layout Tips

Creating Solid Page Layouts That Work Well

One of the hardest things for designers is staring at a blank page. Maybe it’s the wealth of possibilities, or it’s the intimidation of getting started. Whatever the case may be, there are some helpful tips you can follow that will help you to create great page layouts for your design projects. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips for creating page layouts that will make your efforts more successful.

Use A Grid

page layouts

You don’t have to use a grid, but it could definitely help. An underlying grid helps you to align elements visually. It is these alignments that help viewers associate elements with others. It also enables you to make sure people view your design in the proper sequence (When combined with hierarchy).

Determine What You Want to Emphasize

If you want to draw attention to a specific element, you should consider how you’re going to do it before you ever start pushing pixels around. That’s where good sketches come in handy. You can emphasize an image or text with effects, colors, borders, size, etc. You should maximize the emphasis of your main message for the most impact.

Use The Golden Ratio

golden ratio - page layouts

Proportions are everything. When things are out of proportion, people tend to look away from them. Luckily, pleasing proportions aren’t random. They are made up of a size relation of 1.618, or what is called the golden ratio. This can be used with a grid and emphasis to create beautiful layouts that are pleasing to the eye, while grabbing people’s attention.

Provide Plenty of White Space

Which would you rather look at, a design where everything is crammed together, or one where everything has plenty of breathing room? It’s tougher to process things when they are all crammed together. It is much easier to process information when it is provided in chunks. Do you process an entire book at once, or do you take it in chapter by chapter? Most people read each chapter individually. That’s how design works.

Give your design elements plenty of breathing room. Don’t cram a ton of information on one page. Trim the fat and get rid of any information that isn’t pertinent. It is very important that the message isn’t lost in the jumble.

Create A Hierarchy of Elements

Hierarchy in page layouts

A hierarchy of elements is important in any page layout. Your sub-headline shouldn’t be larger than the main headline. Your body text should be larger than any of the headlines. It’s common sense, really. People tend to scan a document or a design to look for the main information that they need. Everyone seems to be in a hurry, so you want to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. Size is usually how you create the best structural hierarchy, but you can also break things down with bold text, light text, italics, color, etc.

Organize and Group Elements and Information

Remember earlier when I mentioned that people process information in chunks? It’s true. Layouts are usually made up of blocks, or chunks of information. They are usually designed in succession of importance. For example, in a party flyer or poster, you’d have a main section that tells the viewer who, what, where, the date, and the time that the event is happening. Then, in another section, you’ll find out what DJs and special guests will be there. Another section might be the price of admission, attire, or any other specific information about the event.

Strip Away Anything Unnecessary

It was Milton Glaser who said “Just enough is more”. That’s definitely true. it’s hard to retain a ton of information at once. Think about different people you know. We all have those friends that spend 25 minutes telling us a story about what how they made toast that morning. On the other hand, we have those friends that tell us, “I had toast”. You got the point and went on your merry way. Which one are you more likely to remember? If you can, strip away any information that isn’t directly related to the message you’re trying to drive home.

Conclusion

If you apply these simple principles to your page layout, you’ll be well on your way. The main idea here is to make information easy for your audience to process, while making it hard to miss. Do you have any page layout tips that help you? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.