THE NON-DESIGNER'S TYPE BOOK
5. Gray boxes behind text
Just because you can make gray boxes doesn't mean that you have to.
Beginners often use gray boxes to make important parts of the text
stand out because they don't have other ideas about how to make type
a focal point, or at least make it a little more important than average.
Besides screaming "amateur," type on that dotted, gray background is
difficult to read. (Even worse are gray boxes with rounded corners. I
know you have a tool for making rounded corner boxes. So.)
If you want to make a portion of the text stand out, try something
else: a dramatic headline font, reverse bold heads, heavy rules (lines)
above and below the article, extra space around the type. Keep your
eyes open and see what others do—copy those ideas!
I >o not touch the red knob while
cleaning this гпаеЬіпЁ/осуШШ
.and the machine ;Wjiì;éHj5Ìc)ae^
Besides looking plain ol' dumb, the
dots that make the background gray
also make the text difficult to read.
Do not touch the red knob
while cleaning this machine
or you will detonate the
blasting cap and the machine
White space, heavy and thin
rules, bold typeface—oh, so
many ways to call attention to
text without using gray boxes.
TELLTALE SIGNS OF DESKTOP PUBLISHING
6. Centered layouts
Centered type creates a stable, sedate, formal look because it is so
symmetrical and balanced. It can also create a deadly dull look. New
designers center type because it is a very safe thing to do. If you center
the page because you want a more formal look, that's one thing. But
if you center the page because you simply haven't thought about it, or
because you are afraid of uncentering it, that's another thing. As you
flip through any magazine, stop at the layouts that interest you. Most
of the pages and ads that have a strong, dynamic feeling are not cen¬
tered. An invisible line connects the elements in a flush left or flush
right alignment, and the strength of that line gives strength to the
If you are going to center, then do it with gusto. Don't try to make all
the lines similar lengths; instead, show off the fact that it's centered.
And if you're going to center, center everything—don't stick some¬
thing in the right-hand corner just to fill the corner. Corners don't
mind being empty.
I think and think for
months and years. Ninety-
nine times, the conclusion
is false. The hundredth
time I am right.
I think and think
the conclusion is false.
The hundredth time I am right.
Mmm, nice and boring. And the
typography in no way reinforces
the message of the text.
What did I do
to this centered arrangement
to make it a bit more
Name five things.
Typeface is Optima Plain, Bold,