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How to Position the Most Important Information in Design

If you’ve ever tried creating a brochure, website, or even a social media post, you’ve likely run into the immediate obstacle of how to position the most important information in design. You may receive a document of each key point listed out. Simple enough. The issue often faced is organizing those points into a coherent message that flows for your audience.

As Paul Rand once said, “To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.”

Now, that’s not to say that every piece created will be a life-changing design. But it’s imperative that you can present information — especially the piece that holds the most value — in a clear and impactful way to your audience.

A good composition balances aesthetics and communication. Luckily, we at BOLD have put together a quick lesson on best practices. Keep reading for the key principles of presenting information.

1. Hierarchy

It’s essential to understand the information you are trying to lay out to determine the hierarchy of each piece to place emphasis on those that are the most important. 

2. Emphasis

Once you’ve decided what is important, your next step is to emphasize the pieces you want to show the most. You can do this by changing the font size, weight, color, or incorporating other design elements that call attention.

3. Balance

Every element of design carries a visual weight. Understanding this is a key point in creating either asymmetrical or symmetrical balance in your work.

  • Symmetrical design uses a layout that has equal weights on either side of an imaginary center.
  • Asymmetrical design places elements of differing weights on either side of a line that is not always centered in order to create balance.
4. Proportion

Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to display importance in your design is by proportion. Simply put, the size of each piece usually equals the importance. Headlines are the largest, body copy is usually the smallest. This is especially prominent in web design, as seen when using heading tags.

<H1>

<H2>

<H3>

<H4>

<H5>
<H6>
5. Repetition

The repetition of a design style is another way to reinforce importance. If every heading is the same size, the viewer knows they are all equally important. If all quotes are styled with the same font, size, and color, the reader can quickly recognize them as equal.

6. White Space

One of the most important elements of design is white space. White space (or “negative space”) is vital to creating breathing room between elements. Without proper spacing, all previous principles you’ve applied become moot. By playing around with white space, you can make key pieces of your work stand out.

Keeping these fundamental principles in mind, you can now go out into the world and create informational designs! And if you ever find yourself forgetting how to position the most important information in design, feel free to refer to our quick reference guide.

 

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