This short video covers the works-every-time layout (or W.E.T. for short). The W.E.T. layout is a perfect starting point for beginning designers who find themselves in the position of having to put together a flyer or a presentation deck at the office. You don’t need a design degree to employ the W.E.T. layout because it does work every time. Guaranteed.
W.E.T. layouts are based on how we read in western culture—from left to right and from top to bottom. So, as this video shows, the seven steps of putting together a W.E.T. all work together to capture attention and control the way the eye reads through the screen or page from beginning to end.
Creating Visual Hierarchy with Type
This quick video uses typography to create the visual hierarchy that organizes a layout. Employing visual hierarchy to create a sense of order out of potential visual chaos remains a key skill for graphic designers. As its name implies, visual hierarchy establishes for audiences what is most to least important in terms of visual information on a screen or page. Visual hierarchy communicates where audiences should begin, where to go next, and where to end up, as well as what goes with what along the way.
This video demonstrates the way typesetting can establish visual hierarchy. Using a menu as an example, the video shows techniques such as shifts in point size, font choices, line spacing, dot leaders and, of course, white space. Buon Appetito!
Using Gestalt Theory to Guide Layout
Gestalt is part of the reason why the W.E.T. layout works and how visual hierarchy manages to communicate. This video illustrates some of the Gestalt theories that help designers communicate. Gestalt works on the principle that people’s brains automatically try to organize visual information by where it is, what it’s next to, how big it is, what it’s shaped like, and where it seems to be pointing.
Proximity tells the designer to position things together that belong together. Likewise, similarity says things that look alike must somehow be related. Continuity refers to flow, as in a line always seems to be pointing from somewhere to somewhere. Closure predicts that we’ll fill in the blanks for missing visual information such that we sometimes read negative space as positive and vice versa.