Questions about the arrangement and styling of content elements on a page. Ask anything related to laying out print, web and other types of pages.

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26
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I convince a stubborn client that white space is absolutely necessary?

We have all been there: you show a client your design and they say "look at all that unused space, we can go ahead and make the text bigger, in fact let me give you more copy. We need to make use of ...
15
votes
6answers
12k views

Scribus vs InDesign or Quark: is it a viable alternative?

For someone who has worked in the professional publishing industry, I rely on InDesign and Photoshop for creating professional documents, even if they're as simple as a business card. Sometimes I ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Baseline Grid vs. Readability

Any designer worth their salt will talk about the importance of the grid, and rightfully so. However, as I've continued to practice my trade, I've found that the baseline grid in particular doesn't ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do newspapers use multiple columns?

This might not be the right place to ask, but I was wondering why newspapers use multiple columns? Does it take up less space, or is there a visual reason?
12
votes
1answer
637 views

How can a design be balanced and yet have a focal point?

The concept of a focal point seems to be a fundamental one in web design, yet doesn't a focal point mean a page cannot be balanced? Surely by definition a focal point means that the page's 'weight' ...
11
votes
3answers
259 views

Is it possible to tell from a printed sample what software/layout algorithm was used?

Is there a way to determine, or at least hazard a guess at, which page layout engine was used in the preparation of a given print publication? I've spend awhile looking at some quirks in the Times ...
11
votes
4answers
252 views

What are good places to start learning web typography and layout?

I have been a digital designer since 1999. I am self taught. However; my biggest weakness is spacing, grids and developing pages that feel balanced, as well as have strong typographic hierarchy. I ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I figure out the right size font / text for a given read distance?

To avoid printing single letters at varying sizes and measuring how far away I can see it from a distance is there a formula for determining what size font for a particular read distance? Is it better ...
10
votes
1answer
205 views

What should a designer consider when laying out print materials for elderly audiences?

I'm in the process of doing layout for a trifold aimed at the elderly population in my town, and I'm looking for some recommendations from folks who have experience laying similar materials out for a ...
10
votes
1answer
188 views

Apply MasterPage to even pages in QuarkXpress

I have created a new project with automatic text box (non facing pages) and have created a second master page that I would now like to apply to all even pages. InDesign has this option when I ...
9
votes
2answers
529 views

What do you call the first paragraph in a layout where its bigger and made to stand out?

So you often see the first paragraph, for example of an about us page, where the first paragraph has a larger font and just kind of gives an enticing bit of information to read further. Anybody know ...
8
votes
4answers
601 views

How can non-designers learn to approve a print layout?

I am not a designer, I am a scientist. I write papers in Word or LaTeX, the conference organisers give me a template with fonts, rules like "Caption for figures go below the figure, captions for ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommended column width for text reading, digital vs printed

Coming form a digital background, I have often read different kinds of suggestions (for example 35-50 ems) for how wide a column of body text should be to still maintain a good readability. Is there ...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Does ideal measure change with language?

The ideal measure for single column of text is most widely accepted as around 65 characters, but does this depend on the language of the text? Some languages like French have much longer words than ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I preserve legibility when overlaying text on images?

I have lots of creative images that I want to use, except when I put text over them it makes the text really hard to read. Other than a drop shadow, is there another way to make it more clear?
6
votes
5answers
203 views

How to make a book with multiple title levels less confusing?

I am designing the layout for a textbook. The book is organized into themes at three levels: Modules Units Lessons When looking in the table of contents, this organization is easy to ...
6
votes
3answers
270 views

Designing for a 6in x 9in book

I am putting a text heavy book together, 6in x 9in paper size. (Perhaps related are this and this link.) Now I look for good font pairings (nice examples are here) and margin settings and line ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Vertical rhythm/baseline grid in Web Design

I recently read some articles about the importance of good vertical rhythm/using a baseline grid for good typography in web design. I decided to try using a baseline grid, like the 960 grid pictured ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some good resources for web page composition?

I'm looking for resources on the composition of web pages. I'd like to learn about pros and cons of different page layouts and techniques for moving the eye around a page.
6
votes
4answers
255 views

Text flow - when to say “no”?

What do you folks use as a general rule of thumb for flowing text around embedded images? I know everyone's got different preferences in addition to standard rules; is there any time when you will ...
6
votes
1answer
195 views

How long of a name do you budget for in a template?

I'm designing a name overlay for a series of videos and I'm curious how long of a name I should budget for without knowing what ones might come my way. As it's for a video it should be reasonably ...
6
votes
1answer
361 views

How to beautifully incorporate tables in texts/documents

From time to time I have to write a small report and usually I end up having to present data in a table. Everytime I end up thinking that a table is an ugly looking rectangular box I wish I could ...
6
votes
2answers
522 views

“Change this design to a quarter page, from a half” - page layout reduction but keep content

Hopefully won't be too vague a question or specific, but understand that it might be. I rarely touch design work, but my employer has asked me to take an A4 page advert (PDF) for a client and ...
6
votes
2answers
735 views

Well designed layout examples of a “step-by-step tutorial” publication

I'm trying to find examples of beautifully designed step-by-step tutorials. As different layouts as possible, to feed my imagination so I can build on that. I'm particularly interested in page ...
6
votes
1answer
439 views

InDesign CS6: How should I structure pages of lists?

I'm having several different parts of a publication I'm doing where I'm presenting essentially a list of compound data. Examples are contact specifications (data points are [Name,Phone,Email]), recent ...
5
votes
5answers
410 views

What should I use for filler/placeholder text?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do logos appear on the left on the overwhelming majority of websites?

The title really says it all. I mean, is there a particular reasons for which logos have to appear at the upper-left corner and not, say, in the upper-centre? Example: all Stack Exchange sites, ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

Does Paul Rand's odd typographic layout style have a name?

I'm just wondering if anyone has insight in to what governed Rand's typographic layouts. It seems like they were often instinctual and not based on any grid system. I'm thinking of things like the ...
5
votes
2answers
384 views

Books on the Golden Ratio/Others for WebDesign?

Is there any recommended books about using the Phi (Golden Ratio) for WebDesign? I've seen a lot of layouts taking advantage of this proportion, but it would be great to read a book with a lot of ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How does one design a children's book?

My dad one day decided to write a children's book, and my wife illustrated it. However, we've had some difficulties in putting the illustrations into a book format. What kinds of things should one ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Textbook layout including examples of two different computer programming languages?

I am currently producing a new edition of an old book of mine; this new book will incorporate code samples from several different computing environments. What I want to know is: what is the best way ...
5
votes
5answers
155 views

Do we perceive images in text reading direction?

I received a graphic in a presentation with equally weighted items in it. Their order did not match my expectation, so I started to wonder why that would be. Finally I figured out that I was reading ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Layout for technical documents

I've being doing some research regarding how to present a good quality technical document (to be more specific, a PhD Thesis). It seems to me there is some consensus regarding the fonts (as described ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

How do you build a webpage with a main text body and 2 columns underneath?

I have a body of text that I am trying to layout in a visually pleasing way but I can not figure it out. The goal is to have this layout (see psuedocode): <container> <main /> ...
5
votes
4answers
456 views

Leaflet fold where full-page spread is the last thing seen?

Is there a type of fold for one-sheet flyers where the last thing a reader reaches while working through it in a natural way is a full-page spread, and where sections of that full page spread are not ...
5
votes
1answer
342 views

Mirrored spreads page reshuffling: objects partially outside pages don't update positions

Working on a file with a mirror layout where the inside margins are bigger than the outside margins. When creating a new page in the middle of the file or changing page positions, objects are ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

How come my link is overlooked?

I'm fairly new to designing. As of now, I have this design: Click image for full resolution As you can see there is a small link in the upper right corner (Upload Prenda Link). When clicked, it ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “wrapped” text and “constrained” text?

This question is based on the comments on this answer to another question. What is the technical difference between text that is "wrapped around" a shape as opposed to text that is "constrained by" a ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

InDesign Data Merge and hiding missing data

I have an InDesign document which is filled from the data in a CSV using data mrege. The csv has columns for name, phone, email etc, but some of the data in the csv isn't filled in as it is not all ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What page numbering conventions are there for front matters (prelims) of books?

When a book uses arabic page numbering, the usual habit is to treat the front cover as a page number 1, and start the book itself by page number 3. However, sometimes the front-matter of the book is ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

Should online PDFs be saved as spreads or single pages?

There are benefits to showing a pdf download both as a spread and a single page. Which should I take into account—the view-ability on smaller computer screens or the design appeal of showing ...
4
votes
4answers
199 views

Name of web layout made up of full-width sections

Is there a name for the type of web site layout in which the body of the page is divided into horizontal sections; each section is 100% wide but has content of fixed width (that is typically ...
4
votes
1answer
389 views

UX research on where to put website menu? [closed]

If you browse websites, you can find pretty much all types of sidebar menus: on top (like our very own Stack Exchange), as left or right menu bar, or even at the bottom (though that's a less common ...
4
votes
1answer
603 views

InDesign: How do I automatically align the bottoms of different columns of text boxes to the same height as the one with the most text?

In InDesign, I have some filled text boxes, sized by columns, with the one on the left being three columns wide. The wide text box is most likely to contain the most text (it's an invoice template). ...
4
votes
1answer
748 views

Looking for a grid template for Powerpoint

I'm new to this community. I wouldn't describe myself so much as a designer but rather someone who has a need to create presentations as part of my job and would like to improve the design of those ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

How to set the width of one item based on the width of another item in InDesign?

I am taking a bunch of text snippets and creating boxes that are 0.2 inches wider than the text snippet to use as a background for it. I have hundreds of these to make. I can't think of a way to ...
3
votes
6answers
27k views

Software recommendations for magazine layout?

I use Word now but I would like to find a better software for laying out a magazine. In this magazine, I would like to create columns (2 or 3 depending on the page), insert image on 1, 2 or 3 columns ...
3
votes
2answers
462 views

Page numbering in PhD thesis

I have always wondered: where should the first page number start? I know the front matter is typically in lower case roman numbers, whereas the mainmatter is with arabic ones. The mainmatter starts ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

InDesign: How to create lines for form design?

Every once in awhile I make forms (applications and whatnot) in InDesign, and, as it often is with ID, there is more than one way to get it done. I have a few techniques that I use, but I often float ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

How to treat right margin/padding of list?

This is well in the realm of "it doesn't really matter" or "whatever looks best", I know, but I was curious as to whether or not there was a generally accepted convention about this (or a ...