These are some Contents pages I have worked on:
I’ve been very honoured to have been invited to teach a module on layout design at Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography. Not only do I love sharing knowledge gained from my experiences in the publishing industry, I also enjoy working with young people to help develop their creative and technical skills – and what better place than in the beautiful wine country of Stellenbosch!
The student assignment has been to re-design a Table of Contents page from an existing publication. Some basic design principles that are important to remember when designing a layout are:
1. Use of a grid for layout is crucial – its keeps everything neat, structured and grounded on the page, preventing elements from floating all over the place in a disorganised mess.
2. Using typography in a creative way to develop a hierarchy of information – create relationships through type that work together to enhance a brand. Font choices, sizes, style and alignment can affect the overall hierarchy of elements on the page.
3. Use strong imagery – choose images that not only fit the publication, but work well in combination together on the page. Consider style, mood, colour and composition when selecting images.
4. Include graphic elements – select visual tools that can enhance the brand. Using elements such as lines, dots, circles, colour boxes, etc can help ground the surrounding text and images onto the grid making things appear even more structured. They also add character to the page, creating more of a stylistic personality for the entire publication’s brand. And they are very handy in developing hierarchy even further, as a tool to highlight important information.
These are just a few useful tips to help when starting out with layout design. Like anything, layout skills improve with more and more practice.