Use this page to focus on the three basic components of strong design: typography, white space, and graphics. These and all other components of design need to serve the ideas in a piece of writing.
- Typography must make text readable on the page or screen. Body copy should be clean and clear. Titles and headings should plainly show the organization of ideas. (Students should avoid elaborate fonts, which add "flash" at the cost of readability and make ideas seem less trustworthy.)
- White space must chunk ideas so that they are easily accessible. Reasonable margins, breaks between paragraphs, and space between lines all facilitate understanding. (Students should avoid dense paragraphing, tight margins, and inconsistent use of space, which make reading difficult.)
- Graphics must make ideas clear. They should show readers what the text is telling them. (Students should not include distracting or deceptive graphics, which detract from the value of the information.)
Use the example on the next two pages to demonstrate the effective use of these basic components of design. On the pages afterward, you will find a more in-depth discussion of each of these components.