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“The secret to a good design, what is it?”
This is a million dollar question which usually has no straight answer. Why? Because no one would share key secrets that have helped them obtain an edge in the market. Also, anyone can go philosophical about this question.
Proverbially speaking; the secret to good design lies in the fashion a designer organizes the visual elements and properly aligns them in the canvas and layout. Layout design is almost everywhere people look. It is present in each visual present.
Let us for instance consider a magazine’s Layout Designs. Its design follows a classical grid system. Here each thing is aligned left, right and below. Its columns have their own distinct alignment (justified manner) which makes it readable, presentable and original.
The large headings are able to attract the attention of viewers whereas subheading comes as a contrast in size making a proper visual hierarchy of information.
Is design different from art?
Design is different from art, in the manner that it should have a purpose. In visual terms, such a functionality is interpreted by ensuring an image has an attention point i.e. a point of focus. Also, a lot of people and designers alike thought that design is all about creativity.
Entrepreneurs, business owners and designers who are just starting out might be tempted to go beyond the rules. Meaning, they may combine the first five or six typefaces as well as colors that catch the eye, believing that they are making something new, and something fresh. They will also find themselves working on a design which is either unfinished, problematic or just unpleasant.
Defining design layout
Design layout is alternatively known as layout design. It is basically the process of arranging visual elements, like images, shapes and text, on any given page. It is important for any project conveying a message through captivating visuals. Magazine layouts, web design and advertisements all are based on top-notch design layouts.
Various kinds of layout design present
As mentioned earlier, layouts are like blueprints, or master plans of work which are to be printed or posted online. It helps lay down the order of various graphic elements in a visual post.
Here are different kinds of layout designs:
- Page layout.
- Comprehensive layout.
- Computing layout.
- Integrated circuit layout.
- For automobiles.
- Layout engine.
- The Keyboard layout.
- The process layout.
- A product layout.
Key tips for designing a proper and captivating layout
Rules of design are more than just rules, they are principles designers should religiously follow to create a composition beautiful and effective. The key principles each designer should remember are emphasis, balance, contrast, repetition, movement, white space and proportion.
This is the reason a discipline like graphic design follows clear and strict rules religiously which are working below the surface to ensure the end work is balanced, stable and viewable. Weak and ineffective designs often lack that balance. Hence, all design works should be balanced and well set.
Let us now have a good look at key tips which will help designers create a suitable, captivating and gorgeous layout:
Grids help designers place numerous design elements (images in text) in a coherent and understandable manner. They create an orderly pattern, prevent elements from going sideways and help in correcting the alignment. This helps make design work provide a clean and professional feeling.
Grids do give a sense of discipline and order as each element in the design does not displace the other. They are instrumental in correcting the alignment. Thus the design work is clearer and much more professional as grids are not just mere horizontal and vertical lines. As a matter of fact they are made of the following components:
- Format: This is the complete area of final design. For print it is the page and for web design it is the web page or browser window format.
- Margins: Intentional empty spaces between design and format.
- Flowlines: They are horizontal lines which divide layouts into proper parallel sections.
- Modules: Blocks made by horizontal lines and vertical flowlines inside a grid.
- Regions: They are groups of either vertical or horizontal modules properly connected to each other.
Emphasis on key elements
Emphasis here refers to a design’s focal point and the order of each element present in it. For this, an outline should be made mentally, allowing the mind to organize the needed information and then laying out a proper orderly design.
Suppose a poster for a soccer match is being made. If the team’s name is to be given top priority, it should be the largest element in it. Alternatively, the name could be put in strong bold fonts. Moreover, using the best color combinations can help the brand name stand out. If the composition begins without a clear outline, or idea of what needs to be communicated, the design will flop. So, you could use a poster maker to make a cool and beautiful design for the soccer match.
Utilizing negative space
People find empty space, lack of color and silence as something bad. However, no one knows how much they can help when it comes to laying down the pillars of contrast.
Empty space is basically white space (aka negative space), the area in the design that does not have any elements present. It is an empty area which doesn’t just surround any assets but also helps create a link between them. Hence it is a much needed element with a large impact on how effective the layout design is.
It will help separate various areas in any design. This helps the layout breathe, have a visual hierarchy with a visual balance. This helps users set their focus on key elements. It helps reduce distraction and adds style and elegance to the design.
Inexperienced designers can fill up the canvas as much as they can/ However, giving elements (logo, text or image) room gives viewers something pleasant to look at. They can pick up cues quicker and in a much more comfortable manner.
Balancing and aligning each element
It should be understood that balancing and aligning each element on a page has its weight. Color, size, texture, all should be in proper balance. No designer can put all elements in one area of the composed layout. Lack of balance will simply make the visual feel odd.
Symmetrical design helps balance each element equally on all sides. Whereas asymmetrical design uses opposite weights (like contrasting one large element with many smaller ones) to create a bold look. This helps make a composition which is uneven but still is in the balance.
Symmetrical designs are often aesthetically pleasant but only boring occasionally. Their asymmetrical counterparts are bold, arouse real visual interest and movement in the layout.
Making use of a unified color palette
Color palettes and color schemes are quite important. They help in relaying the message the designer wants to via the design. Selecting the best combination is hard but thanks to online resources, readily usable color palettes are available. All designers need to do is browse through them and try them, until they find the best one.
Never forgetting the proper contrast
Contrast is colloquially defined as the phenomenon when a design sticks to a person’s memory in an instant. It creates space and difference between various elements in a design. Background should be different so each element can be visible and can also work in sync with it. They should also be easy to read.
Designers planning to work with type should understand contrast in quite essential. It helps balance the weight and size of the type. A lot of effective designs feature either a typeface, or twp. Contrast can be achieved with two strong fonts or one strong typeface, but with different weights.
Repetition with proper consistency
Apple, Coca Cola, Google, Nike, everyone knows their logo, their tone and their color schemes. They are memorable thanks to repetition of key elements. It is crucial when it comes to a brand’s design, in terms of keeping it consistent and tying all elements in a design together.
This is done by using a consistent color palette as well as applying the logo with consistency all the way to the spacing. It can also help create one-time designs through creation of worthwhile patterns and textures.
Payout portfolio design – a brief understanding
Payout portfolio design refers to the design of banking and finance apps, which allow users and account holders to conduct transactions with ease. The layouts of these apps are indeed pleasing but are consistent and know which elements to repeat, which one to highlight and how to balance them all.
Creating these layouts is made easy thanks to the Figma Design System. It contains all the needed elements for creating the best interface, and also as per the needed specifications of the level of complexity too. Nothing needs to be made from scratch as Figma is equipped with the latest features. Hence, the design process now becomes quicker.
Design principles may seem a bit complex at first but they are indeed helpful. Designers who start their careers may find these rules overwhelming and tough.
But once they start improving their work, their designs improve and not only are they pleasant but also cohesive and understandable.
This is the reason layouts need to be in line with above mentioned tips. When the layout is perfect, then the design becomes perfect. This is how visuals become interesting, captivating, pleasant and understandable.