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Design & Psychology

Good design is never just thrown together, it is very carefully thought through.

I understand how the human eye will process the information allowing me to arrange the elements effectively.

For example, did you know that column widths in a magazine should be between 50 and 75 characters including spaces? This helps the reader to maintain their reading place without breaking rhythm too often when traveling from the end of one line to the start of the next.

Click to view Above is how I used design processes to lead the reader into the Femi Wand story.

I see it all the time - even in big name magazines - the column widths are too wide. It also effects the reader if the column widths are too small as it reduces the speed of the read.

So, please remember column width is very important.

What is also important and often overlooked is the starting height of column’s. I will always make the first column either the highest leg or the same as the others. The human eye generally reads from top to bottom, left to right. I would never ask my viewer to read from the bottom to top. I see so many badly designed pages where your eyes bounce all over the page. If the reader is not led in properly they will tire quickly and lose their place or worse still - not know where to start.

I always sketch out my first thoughts and key objectivities. Moving on to fonts and colour palettes to create the right tone of voice for the project. All of this plays a big part in the design process.

Even the simplest looking designs can take hours - playing around with lots of different shapes and styles to end up with very effective logos. I think the Nike “tick” is a great example. I wonder how many pages of swooshes were drawn before it was perfected to the shape it is today?

The eye has a natural rhythm and as we are visual creatures it’s important for the designer to make the UX (user experience) easy, memorable and pleasant, whether you are designing a billboard or a social media post - everything must be carefully thought out and not over complicated. We all know - Less Is More.

The purpose of a poster or post, is not to tell the whole story but to draw the potential costumer in with a great one liner or picture. Now that you have the viewers attention you can use links or CTA for them to find out more.

I see so many posts and poster with way too much information on them. Our eyes are overwhelmed and the viewer does not know where to begin. The information is lost in a sea of white noise and so we move on.

Design principles to take into account are:





Lets remember design is not a monologue - it‘s a conversation, where great design will take you on a journey!

Author: Sam Ramsay - Creative Director - bluKite Media Agency

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