Fundamentals of Document Design | Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD | Skillshare

Fundamentals of Document Design

Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD, Medical communications

Fundamentals of Document Design

Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD, Medical communications

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14 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Goal of Document Design

    • 3. Choice of Fonts

    • 4. Some Examples

    • 5. Wrapping Text Around an Irregular Picture

    • 6. Use of Color

    • 7. Similarity

    • 8. Contrast

    • 9. Unity

    • 10. Balance

    • 11. Alignment

    • 12. Proportion, Order & Proximity

    • 13. Gestalt Principles

    • 14. Where to Go From Here

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About This Class

In this course, I cover the principles of document design. This class is for everyone who produces documents, whether it's as part of your job, for clients, as a college student, or in your own personal communications.

If you are a freelance writer, you can even offer document design services as part of your offerings and potentially boost your income.

You can use these principles in print or downloadable pdf documents, such as annual reports, manuscripts, brochures, and white papers. These principles also apply to online content, and can help provide an improved experience for users as they navigate your website.

While it doesn't matter which programs you use to create your documents, if you already have a knowledge of Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word, then the information that you get from this course will help you get the most out of those programs.

I cover a range of principles and ideas, such as similarity, contrast, unity, alignment, among a few others. I’ll also cover concepts such as font choice, text wrapping, figures and tables, and use of color,

The end result is documents that not only communicate your message, but draw your audience in by being more engaging and attractive.

By the end of this course you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize various attributes that contribute to effective and ineffective document design.
  • Apply the principles of reader-friendly document design to various written formats.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD

Medical communications


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1. Welcome!: Hello, I am Dr Emma Hit Nichols, and I'm a long time professional writer specializing in science and medicine. In this course, I will go over the principles of document design. This class is for everyone who produces documents as part of their job for clients or as a college student or even in your own personal data day life. If you are a freelance writer, you can even offer document design services as part of your offerings and potentially boost your income. Once you understand the principles in this course, you can use these principles in print or downloadable pdf documents such as annual reports , manuscripts, brochures and white papers, among many other things. The principles also apply the online content and can help you provide an improved experience for users as they navigate your site. While this course is programmed agnostic, meaning it doesn't really matter what program use. If you already have a knowledge of adobe in design or Microsoft Word, then the information that you get from this course will help you get. The most out of those programs will cover a wide range of principles and ideas, such as similarity alignments, contrast among a few other things, and I'll also cover things like fun choice, text wrapping, use of color and other things. So the end result will be documents that not only communicate your message more effectively , but draw your audience in by being more engaging and attractive. By the end of this course, you'll be able to recognize various attributes that contribute to effective and ineffective document design, and you'll be able to apply the principles of reader friendly document design to your various written documents. I've included a checklist that you can download and use for any document you create, And I also hope that you will actively make edits to one or more of your documents as you go through this course. And if it's feasible, please do share your document on our platform or on our social media. That would be really great. We'd love to provide our input. Okay, so I hope you'll join me by checking out the rest off the course. Thank you. 2. Goal of Document Design: as I mentioned previously. The principles will cover in this course include similarity, contrast, unity, balance, alignment, proportion, order and proximity. These congee remembered with the acronym Scuba Pop. Uh, here's a picture of a guy scuba diving, and maybe he's the dad I don't know, and I know that's kind of goofy, but I'm just trying to help you remember things here before we go over the principles of scuba pop. First, I'll cover various aspects of document design, including Funt choice, text wrapping and use of color. And honestly, each of these could be a course in and of itself. But I will definitely go over these so that we can make our documents like, really great. If you haven't already, please download the checklist that accompanies this course. And you can use that to turn any document or presentation into something that's very professional, using the principles I'm outlining in this course. And maybe you even want to have a documents that you go through this course with that you can follow along and work on that and improve it before we dive in completely. Also, I just wanted to mention a quotes to get us all thinking about the goal off. What we're doing here here is the quote. Design is the intermediary between information and understanding, and that's by hands Hoffman, who's an artist and teacher. As I go through the principles of document design. In this course, I really want you to keep that quote in mind. What you will start out with is written information so words on a page and everything we learn in the course is designed to enhance the understanding of what's been written. You've got to help your reader not only read the words but actually assist them in getting that into their head or getting their head around it. When you write a sentence, you always want to think of how your audience is going to interpret what you have written. That's what writers do. We always kind of put ourselves in the position off the reader, and you want to state things in the clearest possible way. So that's for your writing. It is also true of the design of your document. Every principle recover is a way of enhancing and helping to communicate your information. You can be assured that if you follow these principles, you'll maximize the understanding of your content for your readers, which is the goal. Essentially, it's to reduce the cognitive load on the part of the readers so that seem out of working memory it takes to decipher the meaning of your text and because we all only have a limited amount of what we can process at one time, especially in this day and age of social media and all that. 3. Choice of Fonts: All right, let's talk about choice of fonts. There are two major typefaces that you've probably already heard over rights. We've got to choose between a serif fonts, such as times new Roman or Baskerville like you can see on the screen. And these have little perpendicular cross line feet or hands at the end of the letter strokes, as well as like a variable this in the strokes themselves. Altogether. These help reaches distinguish between similar letters or combinations of letters such as M and R N, which almost looked like the same letter in a non serif on So Sara thoughts a really ideal for printed documents, especially those with really small font sizes such as newspapers. On the other hand, sand Sarah fonts are much better for the computer. They don't cause a problem when you have them on the screen. These little serves can sometimes not come out well on a computer screen. But sand surf also much better A computer screen On this slide, we have script and slab serif fonts and script fonts, of course, look like handwriting and should be used where that's relevant, which is not often honestly in the professional setting a slab. Serif fonts are characterized by thick block, light surf. It's the serve terminals, maybe either blunt and angular, such as Rockwell or rounded, such as courier. A slab serif might be used in a magazine article and advertisement or on a book, cover or sign ish slaps or a fonts typically project kind of solidity and emphasis. They would never be used for body tax, but they're great sometimes his titles. So you should anticipate that audiences might care about front choice, especially if the font clashes with the intention of the content. You can see we have some sir fonts and then some songs. Sarah fonts and these are OK, but if you have something like comic sounds, it is more of a lighthearted feel to it. So you wouldn't want that to be used or papery us something like that in a professional documents. And another thing, you kind of once a stick to a commonly use fonts, aerials, a good one. I'll go through some combinations that you can use, but you need to make sure that the person opening the document on the other end will have that font. If it's not a pdf file, right? So if it's a Pdf file, your computer's gonna pick it up as printed. But if it's on screen and your end user doesn't have that thoughts, then they're going to see a different one and one that you might not intend. So always good with familiar kind of respectable looking Sarah or sound Sarah fonts. And then here are some combinations that you can use and, of course, is multiple combinations, depending on what you prefer and all the different things. But on this side here we have headings that are sawn. Serve without the serves, and then we have a body text that IHS cera Fun, all right. And that's often a very good combination. And you have the sunset of heading, and the serif body does look good together. My favorite son serve heading is open songs and something like Georgia body taxes. Fine. Even Calibri, which is the default, is fine. Another way to approach this is to have a heading that is the largest size but the exact same fun as body text, and I've used all songs. Sarah fonts here for online content, but that often looks very nice. All right, so you can have open songs, bold headline and use a small a phone as a body side that kind of sticks to a rule of you. Never, never, I wouldn't say never, but often don't want to consider using more than two fonts and a single document. Just because using more than two fonts makes it look not professional. So when you're sticking to one fonts, you can use a very large difference in size and you'll be fine. Imprints, especially. You can use Sarah for in the Body and a sawn Sarah heading. So this is some combinations that you could use in a document. 4. Some Examples: one of the most important things we can do when it comes to design is just breaking up blocks of text, whether it's with sidebars, boxes, bullet points, pull quotes. And in this section I'll also go over the importance of color. And so, in order to illustrate both breaking up the text and the color, I thought I would go through a couple of different examples. I found online of reports, and we can just go through them and just take a quick look before we go on and talk more about, especially color, because it's a little bit to color that we need to know about. Okay, here's an example from P. W. C. It's a recent report, so it's 2020. So presumably there was a team of people at PWC who know had a design stuff, and it's a very recent report, so this should represent some of the latest trends in document design. One would hope so. You can see they got this kind of red and yellow blend, and if you look throughout the document, you'll see that it's very consistently used, and it's applied to the headings and the subtitles, and the titles and things like that. So that's showing the principle of consistency, which I'll talk about later on. So let's take a look and see how they break things up so you can see they've started to use bullets and they don't have. They've broken up the text into paragraphs, so there's no really long blocks of text. Every page almost has either a figure or table bar chart, something like that. And here's a call that box, which is another way of breaking in the text and engaging the reader. Here's a subheading that they've used, and so you can see there's a nice consistency to the report, although I don't really know about this. Bright Red compared Teoh this red, which is a little difference. It's a little classy, but, um, maybe they used the wrong color red on that page. And here's an infographic that this probably sums up all the tax before and after it. If the readers must sit there and read the whole text, they can just look at this picture. All right, all right. So that's that report. Let's look at another one. All right, this is another one that I downloaded by Pharma intelligence, and you can see their colors or purple and pink jizz interest interested colors. But there it is, and you can see they've used Cem dramatic kind of shapes of to catch your eye. And, um, they've got this kind of great pink and purple thing going on. But again, see here they've used figures to break up the text, and another thing they've done here, which is nice. I think it looks good is the columns. They have used two columns instead of one straight column, so that's another approach. It's interesting choice of colors because they have used purple, pink, green, blue and gray, and I'm not sure I'd have to look at a color wheel. But I'm not sure what kind of color scheme that is. I'll get more into that in the next lecture. It's interesting that they would use those colors. What I would do is to make the more analogous, like the's air analogous colors, meaning that they're next to each other on the color wheel and see what else we got. So you can see all these use of figures and text. Here is a table. All right, so that's that report All right. Here's another random report I downloaded. The color is hero, yellow and blue. And see, I think this is kind of hard to read in terms of the contrast level. If you're gonna use white text, I would think you should have dark blue or something so that it's more legible and even that's not as legible as a dark color font on a light background. So But anyway, that's what they've done, All right. And let's see what we got here. We've got again that two column a situation which is good. So we've got this kind of red blue and then also a yellow here and the bullets. So that's a color scheme, and it and then that's cream colored here. Then it turns toe white here, so I'm not sure why that is its little random. Uh, here's a nice call out where you have a take away and a little box here with some information. That's a great way to break up the text. Got another one here. You've got a call out quote right here. Um, you know this page? It's a little random on ISI. This is aligned to the top here But then this is trapped Whitespace. Andi, this kind of doesn't really align very well. But anyway, so that's what they choose to do. And we've got another quote here. Another quote here. Takeaways. And, um, here's a call out in a great box. This is more of a sidebar. I would call this a sidebar, actually, on what kind of fund we have here at sea. This is more of a Sarah font, and this looks like something like open sons. Let's go through one more. Stanford medicine. Health trends report. Always goods. Very interesting. Read if you're interested in health trends. All right, So this is Stanford Red. Very nice cover. And so they're gonna be using this red kind of a black close to black, it looks like and see what they do in this text. Okay, they've got a single column. They haven't split it up. They've got red subheadings. And there, Texas Gray. So this looks very nice and composed. And then this graphic kind of balances out this text, which is nice pictures. Kind of interesting. They just wanted to have this methodology on the one page, so I think it's pretty smart because they don't mix up that methodology with anything else . They just have that text, but so that you don't have a big blank space if chairs in a pretty nice picture. Interesting picture. That's the focal point of the page. And then you have the motif that's running throughout, and I like the way this is just beautifully repeated on every page looks well designed, and you can see this is an example of cutting up the page into thirds, which will talk about a little later. When you have it like this, you have much less of, ah, ragged edge here because the lines of Shorter and I think that they are able to hyphenate. I'm not sure they hyphenated or not. No, it looks like they didn't hyphenate. But hyphenation can make this ragged edge a little better, even, but they chose not to do that so you can see again. They have a lot of pictures. They have a call out quotes. The colors are very coordinated, I would say it looks very professional. It's engaging, but it's not, you know, garish, and it fits in with scheme. It's very nice. So when you are in the bow or even just online browsing. You know, check out the design of these documents. Think about how you can apply them to homework. 5. Wrapping Text Around an Irregular Picture: there's some dummy text and everybody, most people that use word know all about wrapping text around on objects that's regular. Okay, so let's just insert a shape that ISS a rectangle, for example. We're gonna put that like that, and then if you right click and you go to wrap text and let's say you want tights than it wraps nicely around the edge of the document. Or you can go wrap, text and Teoh in Lima text and you'll have It's on the top of the bottom. And then there's other permutations of that. But that's pretty straightforward. If you are just dealing with a regular shape, what if you have an irregular shape? Let's do that. Let's pick a heart, for example, and split that in there. And if we wanted to wrap text right around it, it's very easy. I did wrap text and then tight, and that gets the text to go all the way around the heart. Now what if I want to get rid of this warding right here? That's also pretty easy. You right click. He got a rap texts and you goto edit rap boundary, and in that situation, you can just pull that out here. It's split so that it becomes wherever you want it. You can make a change, and you can also adjust this by adding points to it. So if you press control on a Mac and I think also on a PC, have to look at the keyboard. But on a Mac, it's control and then click right on the line. You can add points as you want and then adjust. Um, and then you can also remove the points as you want. All right, so that's a shape, and that's pretty easy. All right, So what if I have a picture like this and I'm don't want the text wrap around the picture itself, which is right here on the text? Actually, flow into the shape is actually a different situation. And let me just point out the credit is from unspool Ash Rabin a warm major. Not sure if I'm saying that. Right. Eso Thanks for this picture to let's just move this up into the middle of the texts upon the top page here. All right, so right now it's going in front of text, okay? And again, I can easily make this wraparound picture and a lot of times that's what we would want. Whether it's a table or figure, we can just wrap it right around it. But in this case, I want the text to float right up to this edge. Now, there is no, um, at it wrapped boundary in the sense that we can't wrap this around the picture. It won't go up. They won't change like it would with a shape. So what we do in that situation is we can do a little work around which will impress your friends and colleagues. Hopefully, we're going to insert a text box so that's inserted text box and to a little work around. So we'll put the text box similar to where the picture is that I want to be able to see the picture because I want to send the picture to the back of the tax. So going Teoh wrap text and then put it behind the text. All right? And right now, that picture is behind the text. Okay, so here's our textbooks, and what we're gonna do is right quick, go to wrap text, and then we're gonna, um, do tight, and then you'll see that? Just like with shape, the text goes too tight. All right, so now we have this over a picture, and we're gonna format this because we want to be able to see through it. So I'm going to format shape, and I'm going to go to know Phil, I'm gonna go to this, make sure on this one, and I go to fill and then No, Phil. All right, Boom. There is the picture. Now we want to be able to adjust this text box so that it is wrapping around the heart like we want it. So we're gonna wrap text at it wrapped boundary. And here you can see Now we can put the text wherever we wants, and we can add in a point to site we did with shape control. At a point, I'm going to move that out so that it is exactly how we want. It's around this irregular shape. Um all right. Okay, so it's almost perfect. And, you know, I probably would work this even more so that it's nicely. Um, we don't have it so ragged around. They're making even tighter. Um, but let's get rid of this line. here to mind Set to have a an outline on this. I'm going to format the shape. And if I put no line here for the outline, it's the wrapping is going to be destroyed. So I'm going to stay with the solid line and you can either make it a white lion in this case where, um, that blends in with the background and that disappears. Or we can just make the transparency 100% for that line and you can see that disappears. But the line's still there. It's just transparent. All right, Either one is fine. So there you have it. Your Laura MEPs in text with a nice, um, Lyon right around your picture so you can wrap the text any way you want. 6. Use of Color: Let's talk a little bit about color that most of us know what the colors mean. But you should definitely keep those in consideration when you are thinking about documents . Okay, so red can be lost. Power, excitement, energy and anger. We have yellow, which is competent and happiness green, which is considered good taste and also envy and also money. Anything to do with money? Ah, we have blue, which could be a corporate color. It indicates quality and competence, maybe masculinity. We have pink, which is more of a feminine color. It also communicates sincerity and sophistication. Violet or purple can mean authority, sophistication, power and also spirituality. The color brown could be used to denote ruggedness, and some down to earth black can mean grief, sophistication. It could indicate some things valuable are expensive, and it can indicate fear. And then whites can indicate happiness, sincerity and purity. And then you also have to consider in different cultures. The colors have different meanings. So this is in the United States and probably most of Europe. So just keep also consideration. If your documents are gonna be spread throughout the world, you also need to know about how colors air perceived in different cultures. Color, of course, is a subjective kind of think, and we obviously have to stick to the colors that our clients have assigned for a given project, and that's fine. But I just want to talk a little bit about some of the color harmonies that we have. I'm at a website here called colored adobe dot com, for it slash create, and this is a really useful tool that you can look at the different color patterns. So if I don't particularly like this color, so let's change, uh, changes. Color Teoh, Let's say a nice a little bit of a purple. All right, so this is analogous. So analogous means that uses colors that are Jason on the color wheel, and they usually blend well with one another and are harmonious and, you know, pleasing to the eye. And if you're in doubt about any kind of call a combination, these analogous colors always tend to go well together, so any doubt use those then we have monochromatic colors, and this uses variations in saturation and brightness of a single color. So when you see this color rule, um, they're all sharing the same Hugh, but different saturation levels and brightness levels and Thies to really go well together and also produce a soothing kind of effect, like analogous colors. A try. A color scheme consists of three colors that are equidistant a parts or equally spaced on the color wheel, and these are often used in interior design and kind of. They create more of an unexpected combination off feel, and they can add some originality to the peace. So if you're dealing with the last conservative kind of set up, you might want to try out thes triad combinations just to check it out. I typically prefer really monochromatic and analogous colors, but that's just me, all right. We have the complementary colors to those Are that the opposite ends of the color wheel? You can see it's a sfar apart, as you can get on the color wheel. Complementary colors can provide high contrast. Intend to stand out when used together, and the complementary color scheme typically provides kind of an energy level two apiece, and it always coordinates well, no matter where on the color scale that you're using it. And so it's also a safe bet this is a compound mix of colors, and this is a mix of both complementary and analogous colors. So these air analogous here and then you can have the analogous ones over on the other side of the color wheel compound. Color themes have the same strong visual contrast as the complementary color themes, but less kind of pressure and energy a little bit more muted. And then here are shades, and this sort of falls in the same category is analogous and monochromatic shades. Um, use all the same Hugh and saturation, but different brightness values, then custom. Here you can make whatever you want and let's see. I mean, I would just want to show you some examples of why you might need a color rule. Okay, these air pretty nice. But like if you used all these together, it would be very disparate, and it wouldn't look good. So that's why we kind of need these color rules. I suggest you look out in the world and see all the different design and try to figure out what color schemes are being used in different documents, incited and all that you'll see a lot of times that they're using a very specific color rule, so it's kind of interesting. So that's Adobe Color wheel. And then most of us are familiar with this hex number. It's the six Digit, uh, it's numbers and letters that, um, makeup of color and every color has a different hex number. All right, so if you have brand colors, you'll be given this six digit number letter number combination to use. Just wanted to tell you also about this website called coolers. Stop calm. Eso edotco. Make sure you spell it all right because otherwise you'll come to a website that isn't what you want, so c o L o. R s kind of weird and then dot co and these are my sigh medley colors, Interestingly enough. So whenever I do anything in a in sai medley and make graphics or worrying or anything, I always come and copy and paste thes. But you can actually, um, do lots of different things. You can adjust them. Then you can, um, explore. Everybody's got a bunch of different things that they save, and so that's really pretty cool. So check that out coolers dot Co. And then there's this app that I also wanted to mention is called Adobe Capture, and you can get that on your iPhone. And that's so cool, like you could spend a lot of time. It's kind of capturing colors in your environment. Trust me, it's free and just check it out. It's very awesome. Ah, and I was at the beach a few weeks ago, and I captured some colors for myself in this adobe capture. At what I did, I took a picture off the ocean and I saved them. And these actual colors from the ocean that adobe capture at took. It's actually really nice range of colors that are analogous and just came right from nature, you know? So how can you go wrong with that anyway? To check that out. Adobe Capture and it's on. It's probably on the iPhone and also oh, no, it's only available on iPhone and iPad. Sorry, guys, if you haven't enjoyed. All right, so that's color 7. Similarity: here is our famous scuba diver pop here scooper pop, which is just anachronism that we can use to remember the principles off design. And I'll say that thes do all applied to document design. But many of these also apply to graphic designer and generals or not just documents. And some of them just all come from different sources. Like there was a book called The Non Designers Design Book by Robin Williams, not the comedian, And she had said that the principles could be summed up as contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. So that's just some of them. But there are other principles that I've included here in the list. So if you follow the along with the checklists and you follow all these different principles and try to implement them within your document, you'll go a long way to making your document look really good. All right, so let's talk about the first principle, which is similarity, and this is another word just for being consistent throughout the documents. And if you have a word, documents one of the very good ways to become inconsistent or having similarity is to create your styles when you start out in the document so you can adjust the title and you just right click. You press modify, and you can use any fun she wants. You can use the size, and you can change the color and make it however you want. And so that's a good thing to do when you start out with a document in word. So you also have heading one heading Teoh Normal, which is the paragraph, text and anything else. You want to set that up. First of all, when you start a document, that's a good way to create similarity. When people see things that look similar, they assumed that they have similar functions, so visual elements can show similarity in the following ways. We have a shape, so all the text for a specific function will be placed on the same type face. So, for example, let's look at this document, which is from PWC us. Another interesting report from them and you can see you got the sections outlined and red . We have the headings all the same, and then we have everything similar. Okay, so everything that's related a similar and so that's what you want to aim for. For your documents. Another thing is size, and so all the text for a specific function should be in the same size. Headline text is usually the largest size than the text use in the main piece, and this story text for all stories is always the same. And then using color color is one of the most important signals off things being similar. So in this example, even though these are very different shapes, you've got a so cool a square and its star. When you first look at this, you think while these must be related because they're the same color, So it just kind of goes to show that color is one of the most important things that creates similarity between different elements of a text. So that similarity the 1st 1 8. Contrast: the next principal will talk about is contrast, which refers to the dominant focus or elements on a page so you can use contrast to show difference in to create emphasis. And generally with contrast, the more the better. Docker and larger visual elements stand out on the page, and they're considered more interesting and could be the focus off a well designed document . All good design should have a focal point that stands out on the page. Rita's assume that a difference in a parent's means a difference in function or meaning. So contrast is therefore a valuable tool to draw attention to things on a page such as morning labels, cautions and notes. Contrast can also apply Teoh several visual elements. For example, shape. This could mean using a typeface for text that you want to stand out from text using another typeface or using a recognisable symbol such as a stop sign or warning. Triangle. Size can also be a good contrast feature, so to draw emphasis to an area on your document, you may want to use texts that is much larger size than the surrounding text color. Any use of color in an otherwise black and white document will definitely drawer meet its attention. And then there's value, which refers to creating a visual element that has a higher value than the surrounding objects. This could be done by bolding text or adding a great box behind the text, for example, so several ways to create contrast. And if you're working along with the documents, then it definitely try to look at your document and see which ways that you can use contrast. 9. Unity: we've talked before about similarity and contrast. Similarity is when elements are similar, obviously throughout the documents. And so you're using the same type of font for headings, and you've got a nice consistency to the documents. And then unity deals with how our messages elements tie together visually. So it's not about similarity. It's just how they all kind of coordinate in a document together. Visual elements complement each other, and there can unify throughout the document, even though they might not be exactly identical. So what I mean by that is here's a document that has a nice level of unity in it. We've got yellow and gray and white and black as the colors, which we have used consistently throughout. Every page is different. It's not the same. It's not similar at all, but it is tied together. It is a unified document, even though this is actually a template. So that's one thing. And then I just want to show you these icons. When you're choosing icons, you want to make sure that they're consistent with each other. There's a really good website that I go to all the times called flat icon dot com. Who's a bunch of emoticons, Justus Example. And you might have different emoticons or whatever you're using or a Nikon, but you want to make sure that the same format so you might choose this one. But you wouldn't line it up with one like this, which is different, all right. You wouldn't. You might choose thes two together, which is similar, or these together, which is similar that you wouldn't use, like really different ones. You want to be consistent, but that probably falls more under similarity than it does unity. But I just want point out flat icon dot com So the documents really nicely unified with the colors and the different graphics, even though every page and this template is pretty much different. 10. Balance: balance involves imagining a line dividing a page either vertically or horizontally and then placing visual elements so they're either symmetrically balanced or asymmetrically balanced. It's magical. Balance is mirror image balance. So when it's reflected directly across the page, the cars with all the visual elements on one side of the page emerge on the other side. The visual elements may not be identical objects, but they're similar in terms off objects, numbers, colors and other elements. The primary value to readers when you use formal bounce is that the reader does not have to work hard, see relationships between message elements, a document that has full of balance presents stability, security and authority. But it also may be seen as little bit as unexciting and maybe unimaginative. Ace Magical balance occurs when several smaller items on one side of imaginary line of balanced by a larger item on the other side or smaller items a place further away from the center of the screen than larger items. Most document design is done using asymmetrical balance. It's generally seen as being more interesting and exciting. A document using asymmetrical balance is seen as dynamic, fresh, inviting and creative. When you bounce the elements asymmetrically used visual wait to create an arrangement that is pleasing to the eye. Visual weight is the amount of weight of prominence. An image has the iess more attracted to space with a heavy visual wait because of its dominance. For example, a small dark visual may have as much or more visual weight than a larger one with lighter tones. Black is heavier than whites. Intense colors are heavier than those that have been toned down. And I just want to tell you about something called the Golden Ratio, which is really useful for a document design and also graphic design. In general, the golden ratio is a mathematical ratio that is often used and it's aesthetically pleasing . And artists throughout the ages have used it as well as mother nature herself in some natural environments. Basically, it's a issue of one the 1.618 who are some examples that we can look through. This is the Parthenon in Athens, I think, and you can see that it's a 1 to 1.6. This is one, and then this is 1.618 Here are some constructs this is the Eiffel Tower, which is 1 to 1.618 Amazingly, and this is, I guess this is Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, which follows the golden ratio. And then I think it's Michelangelo's. I'm trying to dig into my history of art knowledge here, but Mikel Angela's Last Supper use this ratio also. So it just goes to show that artists who at the age is knew about this ratio and have used it to create an aesthetic effect here is on outline of this ratio. So this is one toe 1.618 And if you just kind of spiral around with that ratio, you will come up with and exacts Nautilus Shell, which you can find in nature her some other examples of this ratio that you can use. And I'll include those as documents that you can download case you want to pull them into Adobe Illustrator and used them as a background 11. Alignment: alignment is one of the key principles of graphic design and document design. It's simply the way visual elements are arranged, so they line up in some way as well. No center alignment is used when you have just a few short lines of text. This option must never be used in full paragraphs because it's quite difficult to read. Left Alignment to the Left is the most common choice for text and also many headings for the most readers. It's the most ledge a ble, and if you want to stay conservative, this is the safest choice. When you're aligned text of the right, it will require additional effort for the reader. It can be a good option to create more attention to specific words. And then justified Text is the most often used in books, magazines and newspapers its formal and works best. If you're using columns, be careful when justified format creates gaps in your text. You can solve this by changing the words, playing with the font size and using hyphenation. As simple as the concept seems, alignment serves an important purpose by giving the design a definitive structure and creating balance. Using Lyman well and a document will result in a professionally finished product, which, of course, is what you want. You should try and avoid the appearance of having made arbitrary decisions about alignment . When visual elements are out of alignment, it's noticeable and can really devalue a piece of work. It's done unintentionally. One of the simplest things you can do when you're trying to make a document look better. It's just to align the text with the other text and objects with text. In this cleaned up version here, you can see the top box Has hyphenation turned on where this one doesn't and there are rivers of white space running through it. Here's an example that's nicely aligned based on a template that is in thirds now. There are some ways to break the rules against common alignment while still presenting things professionally. First, you can use mixed alignment where different elements are lying properly, just in a variety of different ways. This could add a fun, energetic field to a document, and then you can intentionally break alignment, miss aligning one part of a design in contrast with the rest of the aligned design, and this is a way to grab the viewers attention or create a focal point in your document 12. Proportion, Order & Proximity: All right. So I'm gonna talk about three remaining things which is part of our acronym of Scuba Pop. We're gonna be talking about pop part and I'm just combining because they're relatively brief concepts. So we're just gonna have them in this one video. All right, so let's talk about proportion. That's the special relationship between each design elements. The eye visually compares relationship of each elements, area size, weight and location to all of the others. On the page. You can create pleasing visual proportion by dividing your page into thirds. The middle section would then likely be a really good place to put your most important visual elements, and it should be in proportion to the rest of the page. The natural center is slightly above the exact center of the page. The natural sense is the most common focal point when viewing a document. And that's why for most newspapers, the major stories, headline or photograph is immediately above the fold. In the newspaper order is how you show sequence and importance off the information order refers to most readers assumption that what they see first on a paint is more important than what they see later on or further down. Studies have shown that on a princip, age is the most important. Information is best positioned at the top, followed by information of decreasing importance. As the reader moves down the page, you can see that concept on any newspaper page proximity, the gestalt, principal off proximity and I'll go over installed in the next video. But the Gestapo prince, with a proximity, says the elements that are closer together are perceived to be more elated than elements that a father apart. As with similarity, proximity helps us organize objects by their relatedness to other objects like color. Proximity is extremely important in indicating relatedness of objects, helping us to understand an organized information more quickly and more efficiently. 13. Gestalt Principles: I just wanted to briefly go over the gestalt principles. You may have heard the word gestalt. I just want to mention them because they are Some of the principles that we talked about with our concepts come from the gestalt principles. And basically it's a philosophy that was developed in the early 20th century by psychologist. One of the people was Max Wartime A, and he was one of the first to discuss the concept. After he flashing lights at a railroad crossing, he noticed that while it appeared a single light was moving in reality, it was a series of bulbs that were lighting up in succession. The work to stall is that the human mind perceives the whole composition as something different than its individual elements. And that's kind of what we're talking about with the concepts of document design. Each individual change that we implement in a document contributes to the overall whole of the document. So some of the main gestalt principles I'll talk about eight of them. So one of them is simplicity that's people will perceive and interpret ambiguous or complex images as the simplest forms possible. We've talked about similarity, so objects that a similar in shape, size or color are perceived as being grouped together or related proximity elements that a place closer together are perceived as being more related than those that are spaced apart . And that's one that I talked about in the last lesson. We have closure, and that's that. Our mind tends to fill in missing information and ignore gaps to create familiar shapes and images. We have figure and ground, and that is that we tend to receive an object. Either it's the element of focus in the foreground, or is part of the background and the image on the screen. Do you see two faces or a green vase? Which one do you see? You also have continuity, so we perceive lines as part of a continuous movement in order to minimize abrupt changes. In other words, we might perceive two overlapping wavy lines instead of three shapes linked together this order in symmetries, objects that are balance and symmetrical are seen as a complete whole, and then the synchrony, So elements that move in the same direction or perceived is more related than objects that move in different direction. So I just wanted to used to have this information about looks, assault principles because we've actually used a couple of those principles in this course . 14. Where to Go From Here: Well, congratulations on completing the course. That's really great. Hope that it was helpful to you. I would love to get your feedback. If you have any other questions or comments about the course, I'd really like to hear it. My emails. Info at sai medley dot com. If you want some more information about document design, then this, of course, a few books and everything that you could get in it. One of the the really good ones is the non designers design book by Robin Williams, not the comedian. She clearly lays out a lot of what I talk about and provide some examples to, so that will be really useful to look at that. And then, if you want to find out more about all different kinds of visual kinds of programs like data visualization and infographic design and that kind of thing, I have a downloadable PdF. It's free at my website and you can check that out. There's a bunch of links on there, and a lot, of course, is that I have taken and would recommend that people take to get into the visual side off communications, medical communications. All right, well, thank you so much, and I hope to see you again soon. Take care