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Create Contrast by Creating Obvious Differences


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How Contrast Works

Use size, value, color, and type to create contrast

Graphic © J. Bear
Contrast is one the principles of design. Contrast occurs when two elements are different. The greater the difference the greater the contrast. The key to working with contrast is to make sure the differences are obvious. Four common methods of creating contrast are by using differences in size, value, color, and type.

Contrast adds interest to the page and provides a means of emphasizing what is important or directing the reader's eye. On a page without contrast, the reader doesn't know where to look first or what is important. Contrast makes a page more interesting so the reader is more apt to pay attention to what is on the page. Contrast aids in readability by making headlines and subheadings stand out. Contrast shows what is important by making smaller or lighter elements recede on the page to allow other elements to take center stage.

However, contrast can be overdone. Choose carefully. If everything contrasts highly with everything else you end up with competing elements and once again the reader won't know where to look first.

  1. this page
  2. Contrast With Size
  3. Contrast With Value
  4. Contrast With Color
  5. Contrast With Type
  6. Use Obvious Contrasting Elements

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