I’ve always loved creating layouts and designs. Where it’s figuring out a new way to arrange the furniture in my room, how to make a number of picture frames fit on the wall together, or designing pages of my high school’s yearbook, there’s something about the organization and simplicity of a layout that entices me.
In chapter 4 of her book, 7 Essentials of Graphic Design, Alice Goodman explains how layout can be looked at as the roadmap that leads the customer where you want them to go. This makes sense to me on a few different levels. For one, it makes sense on digital platforms. The way you design a webpage is a crucial component of how internet users will be able to navigate the page. If it is messy and unorganized, chances are that the users will not be able to find the information they are looking for or will be able to get where they want to.
Layout as a roadmap also work in a physical, real-world sense. If a store is messy, and unorganized, chances are that customers will get frustrated quickly because they can’t find what they came looking for. If a store is neatly organized, however, and items are clearly labeled and set up so that they are easy to find, customers will be happier to be in that store because their experience will most likely be stress free.
While chapter 4 focuses mostly on layout, the chapters 1, 2, and 3 focus on Research, Typography, and Contrast, respectively. Here’s a quick video that goes over a lot of the main concepts that Goodman covers in these first four chapters :
I want to take just a little more of your time now to talk about Typography, the most difficult of these 4 concepts for me to work with. Throughout middle and high school, I was always told “Times New Roman, 12 point font, Double spaced,” like there are no alternatives out there. Now, it seems like a pandora’s box of fonts have opened up in front of me and I don’t know what to do with it all. Even after working on creating my business cards, I am already seeing the many ways that they font and typeface you use in your work can make such a impact. What I took from Goodman’s chapter about typography was that while there are different fonts, type faces, and sizes that you can use, the spacing of the words can be more important than anything else. If letters are too close together or too far apart, it makes reading the words difficult. If lines of text are too long you can lose interest, while if they are too short it can create turbidity for the reader. Spacing is key when it comes to typography. Here’s a short video I found that goes into more depth about how important spacing turns out to be:
So that’s about all I have today about our most recent reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!