1. Technology

Page Layout Techniques

From Jacci Howard Bear

Page layout is the process of placing and arranging and rearranging text and graphics on the page and page layout also refers to the actual document page created with desktop publishing software. Beyond the technical operation of the software, good design needs the right colors, exciting layout ideas, and tried and true elements such as balance, contrast, and white space. Grids tie the elements of a design together and provide a framework for the page layout. Use the lessons found on this page and sub-pages to learn how to do page layout and fine-tune your layout. This is the heart of doing desktop publishing.
  1. Alignment
  2. Balance
  3. Consistency
  4. Contrast
  5. Proximity
  6. White Space
  7. Gestalt
  8. Grids (16)
  9. Comps (6)
  10. Multilingual Layouts (11)
  11. Use Layout Software (44)

Arranging the Page
Page layout is desktop publishing. There are hundreds of tasks involved in creating a page layout but first, get a grasp of the big picture and the main components that go into the arrangement of text and images known as page layout or composition.

Parts of a Document
The parts of almost any kind of a document can be broken down into five main sections: Artwork, Titles, Body, Navigation, and Credits.

Anatomy of a Page Layout
In this series of images we examine the bits and pieces of text and graphics and how they are arranged in a page layout.

Create a Good Page Layout
A good page layout is workable, organized, and attractive to readers. Here's how to achieve that goal.

Attention to Detail in Text Composition
Paying attention to the little details can be just as important as choosing the right images, fonts, and colors. Fine-tune your graphic design compositions.

Everyday Design vs. Cutting Edge
Don't think that the basic rules don't apply and that everyone is looking for the flashiest or most unusual or 'never been seen before' layouts and design pieces. Clients need design work that just works.

Page Composition Tips
Page layout or page composition is the process of placing and arranging and rearranging text and graphics on the page. A good composition is one that is not only pleasing to look at but also effectively conveys the message of the text and graphics to the intended audience.

Construct a Page That Gets Attention
In "Attention: Getting it" The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology looks at ways to grab attention. Take a look at how people process information with tips on getting the reader's attention.

How to Create a Workable Page Layout
A workable page layout is one that delivers the intended message to its primary audience. A workable page layout focuses on the practical aspects of the document such as method of distribution, visibility, and handling. Here are tips for planning your layout.

Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Page Layout?
While there is no single perfect way to compose a page, there are some generally accepted rules or guidelines that can help you put together an attractive publication that's free of many common page layout ailments.

Visual Signposts / Visual Cues
Print design is about communication. Print designers communicate with text and images. The arrangement and presentation of text and images can aid or hinder effective communication. One key aspect of print design is providing visual signposts or visual cues that let readers know where they are and where they are going. Signposting breaks up text...

Components of a Formal Page Layout
Discover those principles and elements of design that help to reinforce the serious, conservative, or orderly attributes of a formal page layout.

Creating a Child-Focused Layout
Informal layouts work well for young readers with a focus on fun. Consider these font, color, and image guidelines.

Components of an Informal Page Layout
These principles and elements of design help to reinforce the fun or playful, friendly, or relaxed attributes of an informal page layout.

Page Layout for a Set of Instructions
Use these page layout tips when arranging text and illustrations for step-by-step instructional material of all kinds.

Folding a Brochure
Folding may be one of the last steps after printing a brochure but when doing the layout and design you have to think about how it will fold. Get panel sizes and tips for folding brochures.

Using Rules or Lines in Your Page Design
Use these techniques to control your page with rules - lines that separate, group, and emphasize elements on the page.

What are the Rules of Desktop Publishing?
While there are no hard and fast rules, there are guidelines, best practices, and tried and true methods of arranging a page and doing desktop publishing that result in attractive pages that effectively communicate the intended message.

Using Image Editing and Layout to Control Perception
WYSIWYG may apply to computer software (sometimes) but what you see in a font, a graphic, or an advertising piece isn't necessarily what everyone else sees but we do the best we can. Edit an image and place it in your layout in ways that help to communicate your intended message, at least to the majority of your audience.

The Center Square - Page Layout Tutorials
Three greeting cards utilize a single 2.3 inch square image to demonstrate various graphic design and page layout principles using a centered alignment.

Cut and Paste to Add Variety to Your Desktop Publishing
While desktop publishing software and computers have replaced much of the manual cut and paste of graphic design there are still times when the only way to achieve the look we want is to get out the scissors and glue.

Page Numbers in Desktop Publishing
Don't let page numbers be an afterthought. Functional, yes, but make them an interesting part of your overall design as well. Numbers in the corners or centered top or bottom are the most common placement although centered on the side or off-centered page numbering is possible. Possibilities for dressing up the page numbers are endless.

Avoid Designs with Bleeds
Save on paper by keeping your design within the margins.

Supersize it! from Before & After
In this tip-filled video learn several ways to make a big impact with a single large visual. A mini-review of and link watch Supersize it! with John McWade.

Choose a Page Layout Size That Fits the Intended or Expected Use
Let the audience and use not your available templates or desire to do something different guide the size and layout of what you design.

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