Page Design

Printed material has to compete for audience attention in an age where visual information surrounds us.  Printed documents need to be clean, clear, and have an attractive page design.  Readers will scan the document for a sense of what it’s about and how it’s organized.  Also because of frequent distractions many readers will need to leave the document and will then return and locate what they need easily.

Things to consider for creating appealing and usable pages:

  • Use the right paper
  • Picture the document’s overall look and feel when you make design choices about pages
  • Provide page number, headers, and footers
  • Select an appropriate grid pattern
  • Use white space to create areas of emphasis and make pages easier to navigate
  • Provide ample margins
  • Keep length reasonable
  • Keep line spacing consistent
  • Taylor each paragraph to its purpose
  • Make list for easing reading

There are a number of page layout and design programs available, and it is important to master a variety of these technologies.  Readers’ first impression tends to be a purely visual, aesthetic judgment. Having the skills and knowhow to create a visually appealing document will be a very helpful tool.

Another helpful tool is a style sheet; it ensures consistency tough out a single document or a set of documents.  S style sheet establishes typefaces, fonts, headings, and other elements in identical fashion.  The more complex the document the more complex the style sheet should be.

If I could give someone advice about page design, my first suggestion would be to look at examples.  Page design is new to me, and I am working to be more creative in my work.  By looking at other documents, it sparks creativity, it generates new ideas.  Remember, unless defined by an employer or teacher, you are free to experiment and be unique in how the document will appear.


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