NHS Designs

Definition
rep·e·ti·tion
noun
the act of doing or performing again

Design Principles
Alignment

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Page 12: Summary

A repetition of visual elements throughout the design unifies and strengthens a piece by tying together otherwise separate parts. Repetition is very useful on one-page pieces, and is critical in multi-page documents (where we often just call it being consistent).

 

The basic purpose

The purpose of repetition is to unify and to add visual interest. Don't underestimate the power of the visual interest of a page - if a piece looks interesting, it is more likely to be read.

 

How to get it

Think of repetition as being consistent, which I'm sure you do already. Then push the existing consistencies a little further - can you turn some of those consistent elements into part of the conscious graphic design, as with the headline? Do you use a I-point rule at the bottom of each page or under each heading? How about using a 4-point rule instead to make the repetitive element stronger and more dramatic?

Then take a look at the possibility of adding elements whose sole purpose is to create a repetition. Do you have a numbered list of items? How about using a distinctive font or a reversed number, and then repeating that treatment throughout every numbered list in the publication? At first, simply find existing repetitions and then strengthen them. As you get used to the idea and the look, start to create repetitions to enhance the design and the clarity of the information.

Repetition is like accenting your clothes. If a woman is wearing a lovely black evening dress with a chic black hat, she might accent her dress with red heels, red lipstick, and a tiny red corsage.

 

What to avoid

Avoid repeating the element so much that it becomes annoying or overwhelming. Be conscious of the value of contrast (read the next lesson on contrasting type).

For instance, if the woman were to wear the black evening dress with a red hat, red earrings, red lipstick, a red scarf, a red handbag, red shoes and a red coat, the repetition would not be a stunning and unifying contras t -it would be overwhelming and the focus would be confused.

 

Next...

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


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