NHS Designs

closeness; the state of being near

Design Principles

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Page 8: Mini-Poster

You're probably already using the principle of proximity in your school work, but you may not be pushing it as far as you could to make it truly effective. Really look at those pages, at those elements, and see which items should be grouped together.

example 24

The person who designed this mini-poster typed two Returns after each headline and paragraph. Thus the headlines are each the same distance from the body copy above and below, making the heads and body copy pieces appear as separate, unconnected items. You can't tell if the headline belongs to the text above it or below it because the distances are the same.

There is lots of white space available here, but it's all broken up. And there is white space where it doesn't belong, like between the headlines and their related texts. When white space is "trapped" like this, it tends to visually push the elements apart.


Group the items that have relationships. If there are areas on the page where the organization is not perfectly clear, see if items are in proximity that shouldn't be. Use the simple design feature of space to make the page not only more organized, but nicer to look at.

example 25

If I do just one thing to this piece, if I move the headlines closer to their related paragraphs of text, several things happen:

  • The organization is clearer.
  • The white space is not trapped within elements.
  • There appears to be more room on the page.

I also put the phone and email address on separate lines - but grouped together and separated - so they'll stand out as important information.

And you probably noticed that I changed the centered alignment to flush left (that's the principle of alignment, as explained in the next section), which created more room so I could enlarge the graphic.



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

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