Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Came across a paper recently, similar to this one. It was from an unknown source, so I've just recreated something similar. It was spare like this though, no real detail and I've seen so many documents presented almost exactly this way that I thought it might be useful to have a closer look. There are four elements here, the white page, one photo, an allergies name plate set in Times Roman, and a headline in a Gothic face called Balto Medium.
Times is a good typeface, Balto is a great one, but here they look pretty generic, average weight, average spacing, I'll come back to this. The image itself is generic, the problem with this is that there's no focal point so it's forgettable. I mean it's like we've seen this before and so we tend to tune out images like this. Placing it at the bottom of the page leaves a white band, that's a very high-contrast space, which would be okay, but what's happened is it's been filled with a title that just sprawls across the space.
When this happens, that white becomes passive. It's just a carrier for the title, so there's no direction, there's no movement, it just sits there. The headline has been set the same way, it's just typed to fill the space, average size, average spacing, so you'd say this hasn't been designed, it's just been typed, it's just been placed. Two strong typefaces, I mean Times is a strong typeface, Balto is a very strong typeface, but in both cases they've been neutralized by making everything average and evening it out.
The result of all that is there really is no visual interest here. There's no engagement and you'll have no response from your audience. So let me show you two solutions. I've done this two ways, and take a look at it, we'll start by erasing everything. First one, I'm gonna turn the page black and then place this photo on it. This is also a stock photo, so it's no more expensive than that first one was, but it's far more dramatic.
The thing that makes it dramatic is that it's kind of an unexpected view. There's strong contrast with its background, that white against the black, and it's centered in that page like a target, so it becomes a very strong focal point and just draws us right in. Next step is to replace the allergies name like this. This has been set identically to the original. If I place the original green over the top, you'll see that it fits perfectly. What I want to do is strengthen this typeface that can be done in two ways.
First by setting it tighter. This makes it denser, we're squeezing out the white space so there's more positive here, less negative and then that gives us a little more room to make it bigger, so we have a stronger head and final step is to replace the headline. This is also set in Balto, but it's Balto Light, and it's smaller, so now we have a contrast of type style, a contrast of type weight, and the two faces are at opposite ends of the page, so they're not competing with one another.
Your eye goes straight down the page, so now we have a super strong focal point. You can see the difference with the bland before and now the tightly focused after. This is a magazine style layout because this is a clinical report there's an alternative. Let's go back to the beginning. Instead of having the name sprawl across the top like it was, let's set it in Balto Bold, make it much smaller, put it here, and have it sitting on a grid.
The grid line would be here. Point of alignment is here. You might imagine, you know if there were other columns on this page, they would be like this. What this does is activate the white space. Meaning the white that was passive previously because it was just in the background, now has an actual presence by being open like this and pushes all eyes to that head like so.
So now the white is helping you. This looks far more intentional and more designed. Next step after this is to add the headline back in, align to that grid line. This is also set in Balto, but it's Light, and so you see several contrasts here. The Light versus the Bold, and the small versus the big, and it puts everything in a hierarchical sequence that's correct. Does this typographic technique work with the close-up photo as well? Absolutely.
I've turned the type all black on white. That has that clinical look. The white again is active at the top, the empty space on the left is moving your eye into the name and into the headlines, and then the black and white theme is picked up near the bottom of the page. An alternative is this, where we move the head to the left, and color the name brown to pick up the color of the dandelion, it softens the image a bit, and it retains that sharp, intentional look.
Before, kind of a sprawling, not designed, just placed, and after, very tight, clinical, high-contrast look. Very easy to do, costs nothing more, same typefaces, you're using stock photography, far more focused, far more designed, far more engaging look. And that's your design for today. See ya next time.
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A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.