Here are four basic rules to guide you through creating a good design:
- Proximity – Information and graphics that are related are placed near each other. They are grouped. Proximity creates a relationship. Unrelated items or those that are not the focus are moved further apart and often on the lower half of the product. Context is important. Key information is grouped at the top, less important at the bottom. Separation can be by the amount of space or perhaps a graphical ornament.
- Alignment – In our industry, we are used to seeing things center aligned. It’s easy to do and is considered formal. There are times this is the only practical way to layout the information. Center alignment is often boring and can be the sign of an amateur designer. Yet, when the product is much taller than it is wide, centering everything may be the best solution.
- Repetition – This includes using the same font for like-items, the same ornament, or bullet, and not mixing them. Too much variety on the same piece is bad. Font choices generally should be kept to a maximum of two. Text size should be kept to two or three at the most. Repetition becomes important when designing across a number of products for the same event to tie the pieces together. Fonts, ornaments, and other graphics should be repeated.
- Contrast – To make something stand out, bold font, all caps, italics, or reversed out text may be used. You can’t highlight everything or nothing stands out. Know what you want to focus on, one or two items, and make them stand out.