July 20, 2009 / Design

Design Principles

Written by Marketing Staff


  • all elements need to be balanced
  • each page element has its own weight
  • horizontal vs. vertical
  • formal vs. informal
  • modules are your friends


  • contrasting element weights, type form
  • avoid too much gray


  • place the most important elements in the most prominent positions
  • be sure to have a dominant photo-center of visual interest


  • stick with rectangles-no squares
  • all pages should be unified through type, design style
  • form always follows function


  • your computer is a tool-not a toy. Remember, the motivation behind strong design is readability

Design Checklist

  • The spread contains photos, captions for all photos, copy and a headline
  • Elements are placed within a column format, observing column lines
  • The two facing pages are linked into a single unit by an eyeline
  • The reader is guided across the spread by real or implied lines
  • There is a dominant photo that is 2 to 2 1/2 times larger than others on the page
  • The other photos in a variety of sizes repeat and contrast the shape of the dominant
  • Photos are bled with purpose and direction, no more than one on each margin
  • Consistent external margins are maintained and are defined with at least one element touching
  • Consistent internal spacing of 1 pica is used with larger amounts of white space to the outside
  • Copy blocks and accompanying headlines are planned as solid rectangular units
  • Captions touch the photos to which they refer and are placed to the outside
  • No more than two captions are stacked or grouped together
  • Any graphic technique enhances the content and does not merely call attention to itself

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Marketing Staff

Marketing Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.