Awards & Engraving

January '17

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A&E JANUARY 2017 • a-e-mag.com 55 Graphic Design graphs. A relatively small indent is gener- ally all that is needed at the beginning of each paragraph—a simple spatial cue to let the reader know that one thought has been completed and the next one begun. Generally, it is unnecessary to overdo the indent since that introduces blank white space that can become a distraction to the reader. There are times, however, when space between paragraphs can make it easier for readers to pick out the relevant information, or when you want the para- graphs to be more independent of one another. If you add space between para- graphs, there is no point in also including an indent. There really is no formula since each project is unique, but a lot of consider- ation needs to be given to how the reader will experience the reading process and take the necessary steps to optimize that experience. (fig 4) THE PAGE Ultimately, we need to take all of our elements—headlines, text graphics and images—and organize them within a specific space or page. Usually that space is a rectangle, though not always, but somehow we need to make the most out of the space we've chosen or inherited. One thing to keep in mind is struc- ture, and in this kind of organization, that structure is largely invisible. For instance, a paragraph is made up of individual characters, arranged in such a way as to imply a straight horizontal line and sev- eral of these evenly spaced implied lines are arranged so that they all line up on the left (most often), and that forms an implied vertical line. In fact, there are no visible lines, but our eyes fill in the blanks and experience them as structural lines. This kind of ordering makes it easy for us to determine what on the page is where so we can quickly find what information we are interested in (order versus chaos). (fig 5) The key word here is alignment, and Corel provides us with an Align tool along with guidelines and grids that appear on the page when we want them to but do not get exported for output (printing, engraving, etc.). Their purpose is solely to help us organize our page elements. Alignment can also be done numerically by creating common X and Y coordinates in the Properties bar of a selected text box. Some designers construct elaborate grids using guidelines, etc., to help orga- nize the elements (text, graphics images, headlines) on their pages, while others rely more on their instincts and use guide- lines to fine-tune the placement of the page elements. Either way, the guidelines are turned off in the end and the struc- tural framework of the layout becomes invisible, leaving only the page elements in place. There is one aspect of page design that is not controlled at all by any special tool, though the Nudge tool often comes in handy for making fine adjustments. The aspect I refer to is what I call visual force field or gravity. On earth, we can't see gravity but we can experience it any time we try to jump. Likewise, gravitational pulls are not visible on the page but can nonetheless be experienced. An empty rect- angle has implied gravitational pulls most strongly felt in the page corners and center, and each element we place on a page also has its own gravitational pull. Try to watch out for that visual gravity because it can be a great organizational ally. (fig 6) A simple example is how a headline gets placed in relation to a paragraph and the top of a page. If the space between the headline and top of the page is smaller Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

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