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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35
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
23k views

Is Scribus a viable alternative to Quark or InDesign?

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 don'...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
6k 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?
13
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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' ...
13
votes
3answers
308 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
164 views

What is the logic behind loose grids?

I am trying to understand the logic behind these "loose" grid systems often used to display photographs. I have tried deconstructing these types of grids but can't seem to find a coherent explanation ...
13
votes
2answers
681 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 right-...
12
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
402 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
4k 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?
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
652 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
838 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
215 views

How to create flow and rhythm through composition

Composition is a great tool for creating a visual flow or rhythm to guide the viewers eye and lead them through your content. Thinking about the way you want your users to interact with your content ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a specific term for horizontal gutters?

Context My team is working on a responsive website and we allow the user to configure some of the properties of the page, including the spaces between the grid "cells". We had a conversation about the ...
8
votes
1answer
107 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
6answers
56k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
438 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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.
7
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
311 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
133 views

Do graphic designers format and proof read documents? [duplicate]

Do graphic designers format and proof read documents? We are editors of large reports, mostly from government. The drafts we get are often a mess of formats, with heading structures not clear and the ...
6
votes
3answers
190 views

How to communicate a 3 step process clearly and concisely?

I have the following section in our website, and now when I look at it, I feel it looks unprofessional, and a bit unclear. I tried to break the "How It Works" section into 3, with the second section ...
6
votes
1answer
905 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
783 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
345 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
314 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
676 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
184 views

How can I affect the starting point of “paste in place”-coordinates?

I want to copy an object element from one page to another page with a different page height. The elements should have the same coordinates on x and y axis. The "Paste in Place" functions doesn't ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
1answer
262 views

Feedback on the design of a physics document

I am not a designer, I am a physicist. Back in 2005, I made a guide for students about how to measure cosmic rays, for a lab class I was teaching. Now I am redesigning it and would like to ask for the ...
6
votes
2answers
733 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
902 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
622 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
7k 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
4answers
753 views

What characteristics are common to well-designed and well-formatted textbooks?

I'm looking for inspiration on how to make my book appear more professional with regard to typesetting and page design/layout (although of course these alone don't make it more professional). I found ...
5
votes
4answers
649 views

How can I left-align the text in a table of divs so that the rows are evenly distributed?

I'm trying to arrange some names. I changed them out before posting using generatedata.com but the real ones are in alphabetical order from left to right each row. I'm trying to figure out how to get ...
5
votes
2answers
350 views

InDesign: how to get anchored objects to flow within text boxes

Writing my thesis and this drives me mad. I: place images, add captions to them, ..and anchor (see pink arrow) them to relevant text, see image: (ignore here that the image falls off the page ...
5
votes
2answers
665 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
1answer
402 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
406 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
1answer
133 views

Want a tracing font for Montessori Work Sheets

I am designing Montessori work sheets. I wanted a Font for tracing for pupils. I googled it and found "KG Primary Dots by Kimberly Geswein", but when I use this font in my work sheet and printed it, ...
5
votes
1answer
176 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
1k 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
3answers
1k views

Encyclopaedia-style InDesign running headers, where pages have many, one or zero headings

So, you can have a heading running on each page that varies automatically based on the most recent heading (or, occurrence of any other paragraph style) by putting text with InDesign text variables ...
5
votes
1answer
729 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
4answers
686 views

Web Design: Is centering a content section a good idea?

I have a design where the header and footer are 1170px wide. (Standard Twitter Bootstrap 12 column container size.) I have been reading about the ideal width for good readability and discovered that ...