Layout design is among the primary branches of graphic design. It is associated with how effectively your design communicates your message to the user, with help of arrangements made with text and visuals (images). The more engaging your layout, the better it is. It is not only defined by how beautiful it is, but how easily it approaches your targeted audience. For instance, if you are making a layout for a website, its main job is to drive the user’s attention to what he came up with to look at your site, as fast as possible. The center of attention while making a layout for a website is information provided in the text. However, quite contrary to this, the layout for an advertisement is more focused on visuals instead of text. However, there are more than two elements in a layout. Despite image and text being the center of attention, shapes, lines, white space are also as important in layout. These elements might not be easily caught at first glance, but not positioning them well, overdoing them, or not doing them at all can ruin the whole design.
TYPES OF LAYOUT DESIGN
Layouts are divided into three categories.
1. Text dominant
This type of layout is more concerned with text, but the text here doesn’t necessarily mean big paragraphs. It can be in the form of a headline as well, which is more emphasized than the visual image attached in the layout. One of the basic principles layouts follows is that to make one thing stand out, you will have to let go of the other. In text-dominant layouts, images are the ones that are sacrificed.
2. Image dominant
The name defines itself. In image dominant layouts the main object that drives the attention to itself and overweighs the other elements are images. The common live examples of these layouts can be seen in celebrity magazines, where pictures of celebrities are the center of attention. You can see the same in an advertisement of a product, where the picture of a product is shown in its utmost honor and product specs are most likely second priority.
3. Image and text
In these layouts, the prior focus is divided in both image and text equally. And it’s carefully made sure that the layout is not too loud. Now, as discussed earlier, it is a basic rule in a layout design that one thing needs to be let down to establish the dominance of the other element. But in this layout, the difference is made as less noticeable as possible or it’s not there at all.
PRINCIPLES OF LAYOUT DESIGN
Below we will be discussing some of the main principles commonly used to design a composed layout, and how you can establish dominance and do much more using them.
Hierarchy defines how much importance an element has in a layout design. One of the common misconceptions about hierarchy is that it can only be created with size difference but it’s not true. Many other things in a design can set apart one thing from another, such as contrast, and repetition, and positioning. Using this principle you can create a balanced dominant layout or vice versa.
Be it a photograph or a layout design, symmetrical balance makes it more attractive. One of the essential principles followed in design is creating balance. But, there are specific times where you can outlaw this rule. You can add an element out of balance to drive more attention to it, but it needs to be done very carefully and professionally. Otherwise, it would mess up the look of the whole design.
You don’t want the receiver to be overwhelmed with elements packed into each other and choking on the surface. You need to organize and separate elements to make it more convenient for your reader to reach the desired point. This is where space comes in to save you. You can see live example of white space that is found in grids.