Principles - Robin Williams
Once you can name
something, you're conscious of it. You have power over it. You own it. You're
The four basic principles
The following is a brief overview of the principles. Although I discuss each of
these separately, keep in mind they are really interconnected. Rarely will you
apply only one principle.
The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements on the page that are merely similar.
If the elements (type, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc.) are not
the same, then make them very different. Contrast is often the most important
visual attraction on a page.
Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. You can repeat color,
shape, texture, spatial relationships, line thicknesses, sizes, etc. This helps
develop the organization and strengthens the unity.
Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some
visual connection with another element on the page. This creates a clean, sophisticated,
Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items
are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than
several separate units. This helps organize information and reduces clutter.
When culling these principles from the vast morass of design theory, I thought
there must be some appropriate and memorable acronym within these conceptual ideas
that would help people remember them. Well, uh, there is a memorable -- but very
inappropriate -- acronym. Sorry.