Modules and White Space
Written by Idea File Staff
Instead of traditional sidebars, designers are using modules — strategically placed elements — to create a sense of consistency throughout the book. These design elements give the book a cohesive look without each page having to be designed on the same template. In addition to providing additional entry points on the spread, modules allow the designer to introduce a wide variety of alternative copy packages while maintaining a unified look. White space is being used to provide separation and definition of elements and to create clean, well-defined areas that are pleasing to the eye. Staffs are looking to magazines such as Martha Stewart, Rosie, Oprah, and Real Simple for inspiration.
The Decamhian from Del Campo High School, Fair Oaks, Calif., uses a variety of modules related by shape. Because the circle was the dominant theme graphic of the book, the staff found creative ways to subtly remind readers of the theme on virtually every spread. Sometimes the circular device enclosed a quote from a club member and linked the quote to basic information about the club, while another time the circle contained quick facts or survey information. In other parts of the book, that same circle was in the background of a quote instead of containing it. In yet another module, the circle is implied by the copy shape. In every usage of the module, the staff signaled the reader that this was related but different information from the rest of the spread.
“We base our design on what we see are trends in magazines. I think there’s a lot of clean design in travel and home-and-garden- type magazines, and I think you can get a lot of great spot color ideas from those magazines.”
W.H. Burges High School
El Paso, Texas