The Art of Taste


July 1998


The Art of Taste

Just because your computer lets you add 1,000 art elements doesn't mean you should

Desktop publishing makes it a breeze to add just about any design element you want to your newsletters. With just a few keystrokes you can add color, shadowing, fancy gradients, exotic typefaces, cute clip art, you name it.

That's precisely the problem. It's too easy. That's why many do-it-yourself newsletters and other promotional materials suffer from what Dynamic Graphicsmagazine dubs "Design Overload Syndrome." Its symptoms are "too much art, too many typefaces, and not enough consistency." In some cases, "overzealous color printing" aggravates the problem.

Recently, the magazine featured a makeover of a DOS-afflicted newsletter. Here are some lessons jewelers can draw from the redesign:

  • Establish a design theme on the first page that can be carried through to subsequent pages. In the example given in the magazine, the designer used an asymmetrical, grid-like design dividing the page into boxes – between four and eight to a page – filled with copy or bold headlines.
  • The front page should be unmistakably that of a newsletter. That means type, not pictures, should be the dominant element.
  • Don't go crazy with typefaces. A single typeface for the body copy and headlines may suffice.
  • Preserve the impact of important design elements – your logo or a picture you carry through the newsletter – by using them sparingly.
  • Beware of using too many gradients, colors or shadows. All three can lose their power when thrown indiscriminately on the page.
  • Realize that what looks good on screen doesn't always translate well onto paper, particularly if you're using a color desktop printer.
  • Consider using textured paper. It can help hide the inaccuracies of ink jet printing.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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