Do You Know C.R.A.P.? – Alignment

If you haven’t been following my line of C.R.A.P., you may be wondering what this is about, it’s an acronym for the 4 principles of design (You may want to check out my two previous post before reading this one):

Contrast

Repetition

Alignment

Proximity

In my previous 2 posts I covered the topics of Contrast and Repetition, now let’s talk Alignment. Alignment helps create structure and gives your design or presentation a more coherent look and feel. Basically, it cleans up your presentation.  When thinking about Alignment you have to make a decision as to where you want the different components of your design placed on the space.

When you look at traditional designs, you’ll notice that almost every presentation design begins with a title page that has content that is “center aligned“, everything flows right down the middle.  It’s time to break the unspoken rule and try placing your elements differently.  Hey and did you know that it’s  ok to have “white space” in your design?  It’s true, you don’t need to fill up every corner of of your design with an element just for the sake of filling in space.

Let’s see how alignment can change our design.  Remember the business card from the previous post?

Notice that although the design is improved by the use of Contrast and Repetition, it can still be further improved just by changing the Alignment . Let’s see what that looks like:

Notice that just by changing the Alignment presentation looks a bit more professional. I right aligned all the elements and I have white space on the left.  It’s ok to have white-space, it actually can make your design look more professional. The key it know how to use it. You’ll also notice that I added a “RELEVANT” graphic that IS NOT Clipart.  The pencil goes on with the theme of the card which contains school house fonts.

You want to avoid using to many different alignments in your design as you want to make sure that it actually draws the eyes and doesn’t make the eyes go all over the place.  If I were to place my title in the left corner, my name in the right corner, and other info in the remaining corners and something in the middle your eyes would be going all over the place and it would not lead to actual information retention. That’s what we are going for. Information retention.

In my next post, I’ll be discussing the final principle – Proximity and we’ll tie them all together.

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