Guidelines for Hierarchy

The title for this post is “Guidelines for Hierarchy”, because there really isn’t a set of rules that dictate whether a design has god hierarchy or not.  But if you follow these guidelines you will be able design something quickly and visually pleasing, but possible fairly mediocre as well.  To take your design to the next level one must examine the applicability in each situation for each design and explore those possibilities as well.  But for the purposes of this post we will just go over some guidelines for effective hierarchy.

  1. Focal Point

When you are creating a focal point, you are creating the area you want your viewers eye to go first and then continue around the rest of your piece.  This focal point establishes a starting point, or initial experience. This is also often times the most important information of a piece, but not always.

  1. White Space

When it comes to White space, less in more.  The use of white space can be very powerful when it comes to your designs.  White space also allows a portion of time when your viewers eye can rest.

3. The Golden Ratio

Following the Golden Ratio can help you create pleasing natural looking compositions in your design work.  The Golden Ratio is a mathematical formula that is found in nature.

  1. Balance

Creating balance in your design can help the viewer feel at ease.  Whether your design is completely symmetrical or asymmetrical but still visually balanced, the contribution of balance in your piece will add a sense of completeness.

  1. Alignment

If you find your design to seem clustered and unorganized, try alignment.  Creating groups and columns that are aligned with each other can help categorize and organize your information.

Following these guidelines will help you create a piece with clear and precise hierarchy. Once you have mastered this skill don’t be afraid to go outside of these guidelines and stretch the rules.

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