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The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements on the page that are merely similar. If the elements (type, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc) are not the same, then make them very different. Contrast is often the most important visual attraction on a page – it’s what makes a reader look at the page in the first place.
Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. You can repeat colors shapes, textures, spatial relationships, line thicknesses, font sizes, graphic concepts, etc. This develops the organization and strengthens the unity.
Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page. This creates a clean, sophisticated, fresh look.
Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. This helps organize information, reduces clutter, and gives the reader a clear structure.
Since we featured this article again in By the Cup this week, I thought I'd do a follow-post on the blog.
One thing I mention in the post is this pretty great piece by Mark at Ideas: Where do you hide the good stuff? That's a question I find myself asking a lot when I look at many nonprofits' websites.
What principle do you design by?
PS: Ha, I guess our forums censor the name of Mark's blog.
Staff Writer, TechSoup
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