NHS Designs

Definition
prox·im·i·ty
noun
closeness; the state of being near

Design Principles
Proximity

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Page 6: Schedule

Sometimes when grouping items into close proximity, you need to make some changes, such as in the size or darkness or placement of text or graphics.

Body copy (the main bulk of reading text) does not have to be 12 point! Information that is secondary to the main message, such as the volume number and year of a newsletter, can often be as small as 7 or 8 point.

example 20

Not only is this page visually boring (nothing pulls your eyes in to the body copy to take a look), but it is difficult to find the information - exactly what is going on, where is it happening, what time is it at, etc. It doesn't help that the information is presented inconsistently.

For instance, how many readings are in the series?

 

The idea of proximity doesn't mean that everything is closer together; it means elements that are intellectually connected, those that have some sort of communication relationship, should also be visually connected. Other separate elements or groups of elements should not be in close proximity.

The closeness or lack of closeness indicates the relationship.

example 21

How many readings are in the series?

First I intellectually grouped the information together (in my head
or sketched onto paper), then physically set the text in groups on
the page.

Notice the spacing between the three readings is the same, indicating that these three groups are somehow related.

The subsidiary information is farther away - you instantly know it is not one of the readings, even if you can't see it clearly.

 

Below you see a similar example to the one on the previous page. Glance at it quickly - now what do you assume about the three readings?

And why exactly do you assume one reading is different from the others? Because one is separate from the others. You instantly know that event is somehow different because of the spatial relationships.

example 22

It's really amazing how much information we get from a quick glance at a page. Thus It becomes your responsibility to make sure the reader gets the correct information.

 

Next...

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


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