(My) meticulous eye for detail

Comparing the previous years Nepal Youth Foundation UK’s Annual Report design to my design.

The optimal line length for body text is up to 10 words, or between 50-60 characters per line including spaces. As you can see from the previous years design, when the body text is too wide it makes it harder for the reader’s eyes to continue onto the correct line below, especially when there’s a large block of copy.

Alignment in design is very important. When elements – for example text boxes and images – don’t line up, it creates an awkward alignment which is visually disordered. The alignment of elements in a design are important as the balance is visually appealing and can create connections between the items in a layout. This in turn navigates the reader in a subtle but intended order.

The use of white space on a spread is key in creating clear and easy to navigate design. If elements have been placed too close together they can give an unprofessional feel and mean the information appears to have no structure. White space also allows for creating balance between elements. Looking at the right example above, the text and background elements would benefit from having more white space. In my redesign, although I have used a full-bleed image, the use of white space around the border between the text and the edge of the transparent background has been given enough breathing space. 

Having hierarchy is a key approach to creating a pleasing layout design. You want to direct the reader through the page using the more important elements – like headings. In the previous design all the copy is the same size and weight, your eye ends up going to each of the 3 headings as these stand out the most. By using a different size and weight font for the more important text elements, in my case the intro paragraph, the reader’s eye can be guided around the page.