Monday, February 7, 2011

Week 4: Emphasis & Alignment

I would summarize emphasis as a way to make something stand out within the composition of a layout. Based on the audience and the message, the designer decides what is most important and how to display it and its supporting elements in an effort to create a visual hierarchy that successfully guides the viewer through the content.
Emphasis can be achieved through size relationship of images and type, images and space, dimension, color and contrast. "You must be DECISIVE. As a designer it's up to you to act as referee between competing elements and decide which ones will dominate and how" (Krause 64).
 I would say the emphasis here is clearly on energy.


Based on the reading I would describe alignment as a tool used to let the viewer know there is a relationship between different elements on a page. This tool can be used in a strict manner to make the visual relationship obvious or it can be used in a more relaxed manner to appear more informal while maintaining structural integrity. Grid systems are used for alignment as well. They create visual consistency throughout a page or multiple pages, panels or screens. Grids are a way to give a design a solid foundation to start with.
"A house can contain rooms of widely varied decor, from classic to modern, functional to frivolous. But behind the painted and treated walls of each is a shared frame of wood, metal and plaster" (Krause 79).