What Makes a Layout Busy?A busy page is often the result of ignoring one or more of these rules of desktop publishing:
- Use Fewer Fonts. Too many different font changes, especially when they occur in the middle of text, make it appear that there is more on the page than is really there.
- Use All Caps With the Right Fonts. Capital letters take up more space. Overuse of ALL CAPS can eat up white space and make a page appear crowded.
- Use Frames, Boxes, Borders with a Purpose. Frames and borders take up space. They can work if enough space is left in other areas to compensate but overuse of frames clutters the page.
- Use Less Clip Art. Too many pieces of clip art (or too many photographs) create crowded pages with too many pictures trying to grab attention.
- Use More White Space. When there is no white space, no place to rest the eye, the page appears busy and overcrowded with activity making it harder to read, more difficult to enjoy.
In addition to too many fonts and too much clip art, too much text and too many colors can contribute to a busy layout. Amateur designers are apt to create busy pages due to unfamiliarity with good design practices. Others may inadvertently create an overly busy page because they are trying to get more information on the page than should be there, often because the client or employer insists or won't allow copyediting and pruning of superfluous colors and design elements. Ransom note desktop publishing typically suffers from bad design and being too busy.