When you have finished reading this document, you should be able to:
- justify the need to reflect on design when creating documents and presentations;
- list some basic design principles for (re)creating documents and presentations;
- evaluate and improve text-based materials based on basic design principles
Have you ever watched a toddler learning to walk?
It's easier to learn if there aren't any obstacles in the way. In this photo, the child won't have much difficulty.
What if the child tried to walk on this uneven path?
You can see there are a number of obstacles which could trip them up!
In an educational setting, we don't want obstacles in the way when our students are learning.
Please keep quiet and take care of your children. No romping in potato.
This text is legible; we can read the words.
The text is not readable because we cannot easily decipher the meaning.
Toilet: one place one dream
Again, this text is legible but not readable.
The text in this example is unreadable (it's a bit fuzzy) and also a bit illegible, which is why it has been included below.
Meet a bossy taste
Many non local officials due to the local situation awareness is not deep. Or to the local history, local customs and practices such as no interest. The product is of no great importance in politics, indifferent. It is a temporary disguising.
Even though the legibility of the text has been improved by including it above, it's still quite unreadable.
Types of Fonts
There are two (arguably three) types of fonts. The first we’ll look at is the serif font.
Serif fonts have extra parts called serifs and the stroke—or line thickness—often varies.
These extra parts and varied stroke widths help your eye to flow from one letter and one word to another. This supports fluent reading and is ideal for longer texts such as paragraphs. It’s more readable for paper-based text.
Serif fonts are used in pretty much every textbook and every book you’ll see in a bookstore and library, except, perhaps, in the young children’s section.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans-serif fonts don’t have these aesthetic additions. The letters tend to be of equal width and take slightly more time to read (milliseconds more, so not too much of a difference).
Sans-serif fonts are ideal for headings, sub-headings and short text.
However, differentiating between the lower-case L and the capital i can be challenging.
The larger text above is sans-serif but it has some subtle serifs on the letter L and at the base of the a and d. This makes some words (such as ILL) easier to read.
The outline of a word is called a bouma.
Every word typed completely in capitals (also known as uppercase or all caps) has the same bouma—a rectangle.
But if we were to trace this word in lowercase capital letters, we would find a distinct shape.
Our eyes use these boumas to help identify words.
By 1965, road signs were changing based on the Worboys report to look like this.
What do you notice about the fonts?
They're not in all caps. Why?
Drivers in the UK were slowing down on the new motorways (highways) at every junction in order to read the road signs. Worboys' research identified that by changing the place names on the signs to lower-case (except for the capital letter, of course), drivers were able to continue at speed (thus reducing accidents).
Text which is left-justified has a straight left edge and a ragged right edge. Your eye uses the ragged right edge as a visual clue in order to identify the next line of text. This makes it easier to read and less likely you’ll re-read the same line of text
Fully-justified text has a straight left edge and a straight right edge. While more pleasing to the eye as a whole, it is more difficult to read as the eye has less support in finding the next line.
Have you ever read the same line in a book more than once? Fully-justified text also creates wider gaps between words which makes it more difficult to read particularly if large words are used. Have you ever come across extraordinarily large gaps in the text of a newspaper? These are caused by the inclusion of exceptionally or extraordinarily long words.
Created with an image by Adi Goldstein - "Pointing As You"