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Design Indicators for conveying your message effectivelyBy: Avinash Narula
Why do we have to worry about color, font, illustration and alignment while developing advertising and promotional material? Why can't we all use one font or one color for all the advertising and promotional material? Why can't we just have one standard design for an advertisement for everybody?
The reason why we cannot do so is because every design element in a design of an advertising and promotional material serves as an indicator to the receiver of the message as to how he should interpret the message. For instance, a sentence in the copy of the advertising and promotional material which is bold suggests to the reader that it's important that he reads it. It indicates to the reader that what is being said in that sentence is important.
There are a number of design indicators in a design which help the reader to get the message as the creative people wanted to convey. As such, it is important that the design indicators in your design assist the reader to quickly grasp the message. Improper design indicators will not only confuse the reader but will also blur the message.
So what are some of the other design indicators? An indentation at the start of the paragraph indicates to the reader that it's a new paragraph and something new is going to be said. The same can also be achieved by giving more space between two paragraphs instead of indentation. The type of font used can serve as a design indicator. Punctuation is also a design indicator. A period indicates the end of a sentence. An exclamation mark also ends a sentence, but sends out a far different message.
White space is an important design indicator. It suggests to the reader that he should read the matter as well as see the images which are surrounded by white or open space. The font selected for headlines, the spacing and placing of the various design elements on a page, the number of lines in a heading are all design indicators. Even the choice of paper, color, layout styles, illustration technique are all important design indicators.
What you say in the headline of your advertisement is considered more important by the reader than what you say in the copy. Articles on the front page of newspapers are considered more important than articles on the inside pages. Similarly, articles on the right hand side pages are considered more important than those on the left hand side pages. We understand these design indicators without being actually told what they mean.
Practically every design and type element in an advertising and promotional material is a design indicator. If used properly, each design element can serve as a catalyst for the reader to understand the message quickly. While on the other hand, it can also serve as a constraint in conveying your message. Each element is a design indicator acting as either a friend or a foe in getting your message across to the audience.
So you have to use the right design indicators in your designs so that your message is conveyed to the reader accurately and quickly.
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