3 Standard Principal Elements in Effective Print Design

Companies are scurrying to merge their print and online media to become a unified and effective tool for reaching out to their audience. But a constantly evolving landscape of Web design is making it a challenge to come up with effective Web media, and doubly difficult to come up with matching print media. It’s high time to remind people of effective principal print design elements that remain unfazed and apply to Web design with great effect: strong information hierarchy, effective typography, and applied color theory and graphic use.

Strong Information Hierarchy

All printed material have messages to convey. Even the most visually appealing poster with almost no text on it has something to say. The best way to say that something is through an essential concept in news reporting: the inverted pyramid.

Inverted pyramid writing paradigm used in news reporting. A hierarchy of information is strictly followed.

The inverted pyramid basically states that the most prominent data should be presented first, and supporting info and other details should follow suit. So the order is:

  • Most important info,
  • Important info,
  • Less important info,
  • Other stuff.

The inverted pyramid is a sound hierarchical paradigm. Your audience needs a dose of your main point as soon as they look at your print design. They are free to stop reading or completely disregard the following details, so as long as you’ve already made the main point, you’ve pretty much sent the message across.

Effective Typography


Typography design is almost a separate approach to print design altogether. The typography we’re talking about here is basically the typesetting and the layout of your printed material. To effectively relay your message to your audience, you need a layout that throws into prominence details of your design that need attention, and no distracting elements should disrupt the relaying of the message.

Good typography appreciates the importance of readability, especially for today’s modern readers that have very little time or patience to read everything in line after line of text. The typography of your print should be aligned with your design motif or scheme.

Applied Color Theory and Graphic Use

Colors, when used effectively, can elicit a huge reaction from a reader. Red evokes passionate emotions while blue may cause feelings of serenity and calm. A disturbing image can keep people up at nights – a morbid example, but it exemplifies the power of imagery.

The color wheel is a graphical representation of color balance and effect. Color theory stems from understanding the relationships between colors, and between colors and human interest.

The color scheme of your print design is thus important in both explicit and subliminal levels, while the imagery you use can impact your audience favorably if used appropriately. There is also a rising trend of using infographics to convey in seconds through images and short details what essays would take minutes to say.

Next time you run into a creative wall keeping your imaginative juices from flowing, remember that established principles like info hierarchy, typography, and color theory can bail you out.

Article sponsored by PrintPlace.com, an online printer for brochure printing and catalog printing services.

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