The Non-Designer's Design Book, summarized (from Twitter)

Design is a load of CRAP:

  • Contrast

  • Repetition

  • Alignment

  • Proximity

Following rules = professional-looking designs

Courtesy of Ms. Robin Williams, and HER fantastic book, “The Non-Designer’s Design Book.”

**CONTRAST: **

  • Contrasting colors, not a bunch of muddy neutrals

  • Contrasting fonts, not Arial and more Arial

  • Contrasting size, not sizes 12 and 14

REPETITION:

  • Repeated layouts, not something unique on every page

  • Repeated elements, like icons used consistently

  • Repeated colors, fonts, sizes

ALIGNMENT:

  • Think about straight lines on your web pages, which guide the eye and increase legibility

  • On the web, everything looks better LEFT-ALIGNED (see note) and not CENTERED

  • CENTERED is for WEDDING INVITATIONS

(note) in left-to-right languages. If you use a right-to-left language, then use right alignment.

PROXIMITY:

  • The nearer two elements are on a page, the more likely that they’re related.

  • You don’t have to shove elements into corners because they’re empty.

  • Separation in space means different ideas. Proximity means related ideas.

The book is full of full-color picture examples illustrating all points.

The tips are simple and easy to follow. It’s straightforward to apply them to your own work. Applying them will take your design to the next level.

Jen Kramer @jen4web