NHS Designs

opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared

Design Principles

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Page 3: Résumé

Contrast is crucial to the organization of information - a reader should always be able to glance at a document and instantly understand what's going on.



This is a fairly typical résumé. The information is all there, and if someone really wants to read it, they will - but it certainty doesn't grab your attention. And notice these problems:

  • There are two alignments on the page: centered and flush left.
  • The amounts of space between the separate segments are too similar.
  • The setup is inconsistent - sometimes the dates are on the left, sometimes on the right. Remember, consistency creates repetition.
  • The job titles blend in with the body text.


Notice that not only is the page more attractive when contrast is used, but the purpose and organization of the document are much clearer. Your résumé is someone's first impression of you, so make it sharp.



The problems were easily corrected.

  • One alignment: Flush left. As you can see above, using only one alignment doesn't mean everything is aligned along the same edge - it simply means everything is using the same alignment (all flush left or all flush right or all centered). Both the flush left lines above are very strong and reinforce each other (alignment and repetition).
  • The heads are strong - you instantly know what this document is and what the key points are (contrast).
  • Segments are separated by more space than are the individual lines of text (contrast of spatial relationships; proximity).
  • Degree and job titles are in bold (a repetition of the headline font) - the strong contrast lets you skim the important points.



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Source: The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams

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