Here’s why design matters when creating content

September 12, 2017

Successful content combines good writing and design to tell and show a story. Here’s why:

 

Good design makes your message more visible

Good design is invisible and puts your message up front.

 

Design’s role is not to “just pretty up” your content.  Adding unnecessary elements into the design causes clutter and distraction. All images and texts should be laid out with a purpose so it will be legible for people to see and comprehend at a glance.

 

The embarrassing Best Picture snafu at the 2017 Oscars may have been avoided if the important words – in this case, the “Best Picture” text – were placed and highlighted properly for the reader.

 

Can you see the “Best Picture” text?

 

Typography plays a big role too

Choosing the right font can greatly improve your content’s readability. Check out this logo for an entertainment retail chain, Mega Flicks.

 

 

Aside from font type, also consider font size, kerning or character spacing, and elements like to bold, italics, drop shadow, etc. Best to keep these elements to a minimum, and the number of different fonts used up to 2 or 3 max. Any more than that can distract your reader from your actual message.

 

Say it (tastefully) with colours

The best colours are those that are familiar, people best respond to colours that appear naturally in the world around them.

 

If you are still keen on neon green on bright pink, keep these strong colours to a minimum. If you have to, pick one and tone down your other colours.

 

Your colour palette should not go beyond 3 colours. Remember, black and white count!

 

Use Adobe’s Color Wheel or Color Combos to help you choose a complementing palette.

 

White space

An oft-disregarded design element, white space or negative space, refers to the areas left unmarked.

 

Contrary to its name, the space need not be white. Margins, padding, the space between columns, text and major layout elements can provide visual breathing space for the eye and help focus on the important elements.

 

The Apple website is a classic example of careful use of white space.

 

Lines and shapes

Lines in design represent our 3-dimensional world.

 

Horizontal, vertical, diagonal and curved lines can convey different emotions and meanings. For example, a horizontal line usually represents stability or rest, or a diagonal line could mean action or moving forward.

 

Lines that form shapes can give you positive or negative shapes or spaces. Positive spaces refer to other design elements like your image and text (as opposed to negative space mentioned above). Be aware of the balance between positive and negative spaces for a design that’s pleasing to the eye.

 

Adapt your design to the medium

Good design means adapting to the medium. In today’s omnichannel marketing mode, we will have to repurpose our collaterals for different channel – ensure that your design fits each medium’s specifications.

 

Or else you’ll end up with an issue like these 2 examples.

 

 

 

 



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