Design Principles

Design is a major part of desktop publishing. In order to create effective and interesting communication tools, both you as the teacher and your students should understand basic design principles. A great resource book is The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams (not the actor).

Design Principles:

C - Contrast
  • Contrast adds visual appeal
  • Examples: large font with small font, bold colors with cool colors, small pictures with big pictures, etc
  • If elements on a page are different or you want them to stand out do so by making that contrast.
R - Repetition
  • Repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire space
  • For example repeat bold font, a particular font, bullets or numbering, etc
  • Repetition allows for consistency of work
  • add visual entertainment
A - Alignment
  • Align objects on the page
  • Aligning objects allows for a visual connection between them
  • Several types of alignments such as right, left, and center
  • Be conscious of where elements are placed. Always find something else to align with
P - Proximity
  • Items related to each other should be grouped together
  • When items are in close proximity they become one visual unit as apposed to separate units
  • Keeps information organized


Shakespeare's Globe Theatre brochure before:

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre brochure after applying design principles:

(***When viewing these on Power Point, pay attention to the view on the panel as that is what it looks like when printed.)