[This is the second in the three-part series on using visual design theory in documents and slide decks.]
Visual design achieves the five goals of stimulating interest, clarifying complexities, promoting retention, inducing action, and imposing enduring impressions by adhering to the following six principles:
- Openness – Keep as much white space as possible. Take the attitude that space is money, so you won’t want to lose too much of it. As for text, less is more.
- Emphasis – Capture the meaning of what you want to say in a focused theme—then work from that theme. This practice will help the visuals drive the idea you need to get across.
- Relevance – Include only visuals that contribute to understanding and remembering the central idea. Make the image purposeful before you make it beautiful.
- Uniformity – Keep the theme consistent throughout the page. A minimalist and repetitive approach to color, spacing, margins, and font helps establish and reinforce the theme.
- Clarity – Create a design that enhances the text and does not get between the text and the reader. An eye for contrasting—not clashing—elements is essential.
- Balance – Cultivate a total picture to be symmetrical when evoking an image of order and to be asymmetrical when reflecting randomness or chaos.