NHS Designs

Design Principles

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Page 7: Project Part 1

What are the problems with this magazine ad?


Name 6 problems so you can find the solutions.


  • Is there one main focal point? Why not, and how could you create one?
  • Do you need the heavy border and the inner boxes?
  • How many different typefaces are in this ad?
  • How many different alignments?
  • Are the logical elements grouped together into close proximity?
  • What could you use as repetitive elements?

Write the six problems with the ad on a sheet of binder paper. Use complete sentences.


Project Part 2

Knowing where to begin can sometimes seem overwhelming. So first of all, let's clean it up.

First get rid of everything superfluous so you know what you're working with:

  • For instance, you don't need ''http:/ /'' (or even "www") in a web address.
  • You don't need the words "phone;' "call;' or "email" because the format of the text and numbers tells you what the item is.
  • You don't need FOUR logos.
  • You don' t need the inner boxes.
  • You don't need all caps.
  • You don't need CALIF. (it's messy); use CA or spell it out.
  • You don't need parentheses around the area code.

The rounded edges of the border make this ad look wimpy; it also conflicts with the sharp edges of the logo. So make the border thinner and sharp (if your ad is in color, perhaps you could use a pale tint shape instead of any border at all).

Choose one or two typefaces.


Web and email addresses are easier to read if you capitalize the first letters of the main words.


Now that you can see what you're really working with , determine what should be the focal point. The focal point might be slightly different depending on where the ad is placed. For instance, if it's a phone book ad for an optometrist , the focal point might be on "Optometry" rather than the physician's name - a reader is scanning the yellow pages looking for someone in that field, not that doctor's name. In a phone book, the phone number should have more priority than, say, it would in a flyer that was for an event being held on a specific day and time.

Add the answers to these questions to your sheet of paper from part 1:

  1. What should be the focal point?
  2. What is the purpose of this piece in this particular magazine (or wherever it is)? That will help you determine the hierarchy of the rest of the information.
  3. Which items should be grouped together into closer proximity?

Use complete sentences.


Project Part 3

Redesign the ad from the starting point in Part 2 above. You have two options:

Option 1: Digital File

Right-click on the link below and save the file into your Home folder:


Rename the file with your last name and first initial at the front of the file name, like this:


Redesign the ad. Ask me how to do any special things In MS Word you don't know how to do yet. Chances are I do.

Turn your final design in to the Inbox, in the folder called Project 7.

Option 2: Hand-Drawn

Draw a new version of the ad on a sheet of paper. Do your best to recreate the logo. Let Mrs. Pedersen know if you want a printout of the blank rectangle (format) of the ad.

Also Do This

On the sheet of paper from Parts 1 & 2, answer the following questions? Use complete sentences.

  1. How did you achieve proximity in your redesign?
  2. How did you achieve alignment?
  3. How did you achieve repetition?
  4. How did you achieve contrast?


Project Part 4

  1. Mrs. Pedersen will call you up for individual feedback, in the order in which you turned in your digital files for part 3.
  2. On your assignment sheet, add a new heading for Part 4. Write notes on your feedback (and ideas for revisions) during our consultation.
  3. Go back and make your revisions.
  4. Turn your digital file in again, and turn your assignment sheet in with the Part 4 notes. I will use this to grade your final file.



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

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