The design of a print publication or website is crucial to determining how readers take in the information that is available to them. Designing print and online content is much more complicated than assuming the most important information should be large and on top. Although you should visually prioritize the most important stories, there are other factors to consider when creating a visually compelling and aesthetically pleasing presentation.

Balancing certain types of content with others is crucial. Avoid putting a lot of text on a page without art elements to break it up. People tend to skip over “gray” pages that have uninterrupted text. By using subheads, photos, infographics and pull quotes, you create entry points for a reader to become interested in the story. Emotional images in the center of the page draw the reader in, and varying fonts and text sizes create a dynamic visual package.

Generally speaking, you should never try to create a design for a page before you have the page’s content selected and created. You should be designing to suite your stories — not the other way around.

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