Design

Should We Obsess Over Alignment?

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One of the most important things to have in mind when working on an Infographic project is to keep all the elements well arranged and to avoid clutter at all costs.

If you have been following our Infographic Design Series, you would have learned about design elements like typography, font pairings, color schemes, and layouts.
For this entry in the series, we’ll talk about alignments. We’ll answer age old design questions such as – Is aligning your content important? and How should you align your design elements? Is orange really a colour?

One of the most important thing to keep in mind is when working on an Infographic project is that to keep all the elements well arranged and to avoid clutter at all cost.
The comparison below portrays how proper alignment makes a better looking infographic.
Alignment comparison

The example above illustrates the following: When you align the elements of your contents (title boxes, text frames, graphics, icons, etc.), your infographics will look organized and attractive. Proper alignment creates a sharper and orderly design, making content elements visually connected— and it makes it generally easier on the eye.

For the next section of this post, I will highlight some alignment principles that you will find helpful when aligning and arranging your infographic content.

Visual objects alignment: Edge and Center

For visual objects like images, icons, charts and statistics, there are two forms of alignments that can be used: (Depending on your layout) you can use either the edge alignment or center alignment to get your visual elements organized.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • For any objects with flat edges, you can use “edge alignment”.
  • If you have a group of objects in different sizes, use “center alignment”.

Take the following examples to see the difference between edge and center alignments. The examples below are arranged horizontally, using the same principles, you can also arrange them vertically.
Objects alignment

Text alignment: Four common types

Text alignment depends on the message delivery and the tone you would like to set. It is also highly influenced by the design. Here are four common text alignments with examples for your reference.
Text alignment

  • Fully justified text: This type of alignment are usually considered more formal than the rest. It can be rather difficult to read at times, but when designed properly, can produce very neat and clear layout.
  • Left-aligned text: This alignment is typically used. It produces an informal arrangement that is easy to the eye. Using this alignment requires less effort to design.
  • Right-aligned text: This is uncommonly used. But, when used aptly can produce neater design compared to when it is left-aligned. For instance, when the accompanying chart / image is aligned to the right, the text should follow.
  • Center-aligned text: This is also another more commonly used text alignment. Looks better on accompanying visual that is round or any non-rectangular shapes. It is also typically used for headers and sub headers.

How to align objects in Piktochart?

If you haven’t already known, Piktochart has ‘snap-to-grid’ feature that allows you to align your objects with ease. You can even toggle it on or off as you like.
To toggle the snap-to-grid feature on or off, you can click the button as indicated below.
Piktochart Snap-to-grid Feature

With the feature turned on, you will notice grid lines (orange colored lines) appearing on screen, as shown below, when you shift your objects on your canvas. You will notice, that your object becomes “sticky” where it automatically moves by a few pixels to align with the nearest objects based on the grid lines. Based on the grid lines you can adjust the objects to your liking.

Piktochart - align with other objects

The Bottom Line

When you align your content elements correctly, your infographics will look organized, well spaced and attractive.

Basic alignment principles
Object alignments can be arranged in two forms. When in doubt, just remember that whichever alignment you use, ensure they look organized and there is sufficient white space in between objects.

So, to recap;

  • Edge Alignment: Best use for when your objects have flat edges.
  • Center Alignment: When you have multiple objects in various shapes and sizes, go for center alignment.

There are four standard text alignments. Text alignment may be influenced by your design and layout.

  • Fully justified text: is considered to be more formal. It can be rather difficult to read at times, but when designed properly, can produce very neat and clear layout.
  • Left-aligned text: Typically used due to its friendlier and informal arrangement. Using this alignment requires less effort to design.
  • Right-aligned text: Rarely used. When used right, can produce neat outlook. For instance, when the accompanying chart / image is aligned to the right, the text should follow.
  • Center-aligned text: Looks better on accompanying visuals that are round in shape. It is also typically used for headers and sub headers.

When it comes to alignment, there is no right or wrong way, but following the tips above will allow you to quickly get a clean and aesthetically pleasing infographic. Regardless of your preference, a good rule of thumb is to remember to keep it consistent! Now that you have some insights on the key principles of alignment, go ahead and make information beautiful.

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