Design Basics: Visual Hierarchy

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No design can fix terrible content. Period. But with great content, you can use beautiful design to engage your readers.

Design strengthens communication. Design exists to support content and deliver your ideas with greater clarity, insight, and engagement. If potential readers don’t understand why they should buy your content instead of the next guy’s, you won’t get the sale. So not only do you need to write great content, you need to learn to present it clearly as well. Design can help you do just that.

Research has shown that visual beauty supports sales. Great design builds trust, effects purchasing decisions, and even the perceived value of a particular product. But where should you start? A blank page is intimidating. That’s why we created templates that are completely customizable to your unique needs. In this post, we want to share some design “best practices” so that you can use our templates to the fullest!

Part One: Visual Hierarchy

In the examples below, we will show you how to create interest through a design principal called “visual hierarchy.”  We’ll be using color, space, and typography, to illustrate the importance of this principal.

Visual Hierarchy: Typography

Above we see how the use of a display font can be more interesting than a text font. This draws the eye to a particular place on the page and can also add a particular ‘feeling’ to a sentence. Display fonts should never be used for long sentences or in the body of your work as they are more fatiguing to the eye. Use sparingly (but definitely use)!

Visual Hierarchy: Spacing and Color

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The first example (left image) is the correct way to use both space and color to add interest and hierarchy to your work. Color is a fantastic way to grab attention. Spacing is a fantastic way to associate content correctly. Huh? Here’s an analogy: spacing is to design what punctuation is to a sentence. Without proper punctuation, a sentence can read very differently or even look like a run on sentence. The same is true with design. If everything is evenly spaced, our eyes are less interested in the design.

For more on book design, check out the Basic Book Design Wikibook for answers to your broad questions. If you have any specific questions for us, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or ask @ibooktemplates!

Comments (1)
  1. Colour Rich May 18, 2013

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