I used to start designing at the top of the page on my layouts. The first thing I’d do is place the main image or graphic, and get it the way I liked it. Then, add the headline. Make it big, bold type… yeah, that’s it. Looks good. Hit save. Then, add the body copy

Sometimes when I’m about to do a layout, and I’m relatively certain what my design will look like before I do, I like to think about the measurement of the message. I don’t go as far as creating the following visual aide for myself, but for the benefit of our conversation, here’s an example of

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I was working on a website design recently, and was reminded of this odd little topic of shape conflicts. They’re easy to fix, if you know what you’re looking at (and for), but sometimes you’ll look at something, scratching your head, wondering “What the?…” Here’s an example of a shape conflict: There’s a rectangle sitting

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Sometimes when I do a layout, something just looks off. I’ll check my grid, and my elements, and everything is well assembled, but there’s just something bugging me. Very often, that “something” turns out to be a colour imbalance. Here’s an example of something that bugs me – see if you can pick it out

When you’re aligning elements on your page, there are two ways to align them: mathematically, or optically. The difference is small, but it can really make a difference in your overall design. It’s not specifically “better” to use optical alignment, but judge the effect for yourself. Here’s an example of a mathematical alignment of elements.

I’m not much for overdoing effects and filters in a layout, but there are times when a drop-shadow or an emboss help to lift an element, or elements, off the page. It’s a good practice to make sure you balance your effects if they apply to more than one element on your page. Here’s an

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