This section covers areas of visual design. These areas are more about the aesthetics and readability of a document as opposed to the conceptual section which covers arrangement and structure of the underlying system.
Use the Scrabble board to navigate this section, or select one of the following areas to begin:
Meggs describes a grid structure method for laying out information. This idea of a grid structure is very common in every day life. Calendars, spreadsheets, city streets (sometimes), post office boxes, building window layout, and farming are just a few of the many examples of grid layouts in today's world. This website was created using a grid layout. The navigation in itself is a grid structure. A good grid layout can lead to excellent layering in the design.
Edward Tufte explained methods for creating layers of separation in a document. The layers not only make a document more aesthetic, but it also adds a great deal of readability to the document. Size, color, and position are but a few of the methods for creating layering. For example, this document has several layers. Tufte's name creates a layer because of it's size. "Layering and Separation" creates a layer because of it's color, size, and position.
This image at first glance seems to only have a few layers, but closer examination reveals several more layers. The three books stacked on the table create not only geographical layering, but also color layering.
Itten uses concepts of color theory to explain how to obtain "color harmony" in design. He covers the different types of contrast which are extremely important to obtaining aesthically pleasing designs. Complementary contrast is based on the complementary colors (colors on opposing sides of the color wheel). Value and saturation play an important role in complementary contrast. One color must have high saturation and low value, and the other color must have low saturation and high value in order to obtain the best results. Another form of contrast Itten discusses is contrast of extension. This form of contrast is based on the size of the area of each color. The greater the difference in the size of two areas, the less contrast is obtained.