Part IV: Putting it
all together

• Planning a
cohesive design
• Thumbnails
• Designing to a format
• Grids and systems
• Developing judgment
• TRY IT: 10 minute critique
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Build your awareness of design principles by identifying the most common pitfalls of beginning designers.

Goal: based on the design knowledge you've gained, assess a newsletter and make suggestions for improvement.

Note: These directions were designed for the original hands-on course. If you are online, you might find any page in a magazine —or your own layouts— and consider the design and typography in light of what you've learned. Make a thumbnail sketch showing ways to improve the piece.
  1. Look over the design. Assess the following areas:

  2. Purpose: Does the newsletter perform its intended function?

  3. Form: What method has been used to create balance? Is it working?

  4. Contrast: SQUINT. What elements attract your eye? What next? How does your eye move through the page? What methods of creating contrast have been used? Could contrast be manipulated more effectively?

  5. Content: do the words and pictures support each other?

  6. Visuals: Assess quality, type, effectiveness, size, cropping, juxtaposition.

  7. Typography: Is it consistent? Identify the number of typefaces, styles of type, families, methods of distinguishing among content. Is there a clear hierarchy?

  8. Is there a clear grid system in place for organizing the content, and keeping elements aligned with each other?

  9. Create thumbnail sketches incorporating your suggestions for improving the design.

Great Job! You're well on your way to cleaner, more effective design.