Good design is not about good taste or bad taste. It is about having an idea and applying it rigorously and consistently to communicate a message. The choices that need to be made in selecting type, color, image and layout should be clear, consistent and appropriate. Communication is the goal, so say what you mean in as few words as possible and say it clearly.
Consistency means having an idea and making decision about font, color and layout that consistently support the idea. Don’t make emotional decisions about design. Put the emotion into the main idea and then the choices about color, type and layout are easy. And be sure the choices are appropriate. If the audience is old, be sure the type is legible, if the design is to be reproduced in a very small size, be sure the images don’t have too much detail. If the
The following list is by no means a finite nor is it a list that there won’t be legitimate exceptions to. It is a framework for helping you make design decisions and followed consciously, it should ensure that your work will be clear, legible and effective::
- Have an idea
- Make decisions that support the idea
- Use no more than two typefaces
- Choose colors for a reason
- Make the negative space part of the design
- Communicate with clear messages and word choices
- Establish a hierarchy of information
- Stick to one layout justification
- Work with a grid
- Make the interface intuitive
The slides below demonstrate these principles.
Here is a good example of why design rules matter.
Assignment: Choose a website that you think could be improved. (Ideally a website and not a blog) and analyze its adherence to the 10 rules of design. Come to class prepared to share and discuss your analysis and recommendations. The sample analysis discussed in class is here. You will have 4 minutes to present and discuss your work in class. Send Katherine your blog URL.