Design has been both an art and a science for centuries. The ancient Greeks, masters of reason and logic, started studying and applying the concept of layout between 9 and 6 century BC.
That’s when temples transformed from small, disorganized structures into monumental, perfectly planned and stunning buildings. Let’s take a look at the plan and interior of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae.
But you might be wondering – what is layout? Layout can be defined as the sizing, spacing, and placement of design elements. In Ancient Greece, these elements were columns, statues, rooms and walls. In modern design, layout is more about logos, headlines, photographs, icons, text, calls-to-action and more.
These elements are different, because their purpose is different. For the Ancient Greeks, the function of layout was to maximize space for prayer and to honor the gods. Now, the function of layout is to ensure users immediately understand the content presented.
Keeping that in mind, there are a few criteria effective layouts must meet:
- First, an effective layout needs to direct focus, and show users where they need to look first.
- Second, the layout should flow. Readers should be able to easily follow a design and find elements in order.
- Third, it should be consistent.
- Alignment is also extremely important. Without proper alignment, elements will seem out of place.
- Finally, it should be easy to scan. Attention span is fleeting, and people will skim your content before they decide it’s worthy.
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Without further ado, September’s Design Tip Series:
Quick note: This is an ongoing series that began September 7th. Links will be added as soon as we publish each individual post.
1 – The Key To Clean and Uncluttered Infographic Design: Managing Whitespace
White space is as its name defined—space that is unmarked in a piece of infographic or visual representation. It could be margins, padding or the space between columns, text and icons and design elements. It’s extremely important, and we’ll learn how to master it.
2 – Layout #1: The Beginners Layout (or Useful Bait)
The first layout we will cover is perfect for beginners, because it’s the perfect combination of content and data – it’s suitable for both, easy to read and shows good usability. A must-know.
3 – Layout #2: Designing A Comparison Using Infographics
If you are a designer, blogger, or any type of content creator, you’ll often find yourself having to compare two different topics. Layout #2 is perfect for that, and in this post we’ll teach you how to pick the right information, and make tons of content look beautiful.
4 – Layout #3: Making Complex Data Easy To Read
One of the main uses of infographics is to show complex content in a visually compelling, easy-to-grasp manner. Numbers and metrics are boring and difficult to understand. Showing data with Layout #3 is the perfect solution.
5 – Layout #4: Storytelling With Roadmaps
In the past, we’ve covered storytelling and why it works (for instance, here and here). Humans are hardwired to engage and pay attention to stories because it’s the only way of preserving information from one generation to another. In this post, we’ll learn how to leverage that by using a very specific type of infographic template. You’ll love it!
6 – Layout #5: Portraying History With Timelines
History is a journey and a chronological process. Therefore, to portray the complexity of history with the simplicity of an infographic, we have a very special layout for you. If you ever have to explain the Battle of Waterloo, or the life of Steve Jobs, this is the post for you.
7 – Layout #6: Visualized Article
Sometimes, as a blogger, journalist, or content generator, you need to take an article, dissect it and portray it in an infographic. It’s not an impossible task, but you need to know how to do it, as the results can be amazing. In this article, we’ll reveal 2 or 3 key tricks to become an expert in transforming articles into infographics.
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