Leading refers to the horizontal space between lines of text as is important to the text itself. Get it right and text becomes inviting. Get it wrong and we run the risk of rendering text unreadable. Too much… Read More

Honest marketing leaves me with the feeling that I’m exercising free choice, while deceitful marketing makes me feel I am being controlled and patronized. Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy of United Editions

Most marketing isn’t dishonest; it’s just dumb. The dumbness is usually caused by marketing wonks trying to speak to so many people at once that they end up adopting a tone of epic blandness. Graphic Design: A User’s… Read More

Trouble with you designers is that you earn a living doing something you love, and when you are in love with your work you aren’t rational about it. You are emotional about it, and this clouds your judgment…. Read More

So great are the demands clients make on designers for high levels of knowledge and expertise that design is becoming increasingly – and irrevocably – compartmentalized. Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy of United Editions

The only ideas that truly research well are mediocre, ‘acceptable’ ideas. Great ideas are always suspect in research. Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy of United Editions

Try to attend focus groups personally. It can be painful to hear your work discussed, but it can also be enlightening to see what people think about its effectiveness (even in the artificial surroundings of a focus group… Read More

There are companies who wave the green flag and pretend to be green, when in reality they do nothing. Graphic designers are the first people companies turn to, to help create the illusion of greenness. When businesses do… Read More

Helvetica is a surprisingly difficult typeface to use becaues it is unforgiving. It looks best in single-word applications or short phrases. When it is used in a mix of sizes and weights its fabled robustness tends to evaporate…. Read More

Humor in graphic communication can be a powerful ingredient, yet it’s rare to find it. For laughs and witty ideas within visual communication, we tend to look to advertising and not graphic design. Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by… Read More

‘If you only look for ideas when you need them, you will soon get stuck. However, if you constantly try to generate them and connect things by making juxtapositions of thoughts, alignments, and by embracing coincidences, they will… Read More

How a designer responds to a brief is the most important factor in determining the outcome of a project. Briefing documents need to be studied closely, yet following them slavishly is not always advisable. We should challenge bad… Read More

What makes a good cover design? The secret is not to attempt to retell the story. The author might have hundreds of pages to indulge in endless detail; the designer has only a small space to visually replicate… Read More

Most designers look at books when they want ideas. Others pound through the Internet. This is fine. But we should force ourselves to go to unlikely books and unlikely places in cyberspace; if we are all looking at… Read More

If we are to work as interaction designers we will increasingly have to work with other practitioners from non-design disciplines: cognitive psychologists, sociologists, product designers, engineers and computer scientists. We have to recognize that interactive design involves other… Read More

Blocks of justified text look neat and tidy, but as every designer knows justified text requires lots of manual correction. Using justified text in Web design is even more problematic because hypenation properties of software can never be… Read More

Flush left allows the designer to make judicious line breaks which actually help the reader, and which allow the text to flow naturally. We should use justified text only when we are sure we have control of spacing… Read More

Kerning is about adjusting (increasing or decreasing) the space between problematic letter combinations to ensure an even and consistent look, and to ensure the eyes of the reader are not distracted by gaps and collisions within words. Graphic… Read More

Tracking is often confused with kerning. Tracking refers to the control of all the spaces between all the letters in a given text block. Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy of United EditionsMore about tracking and kerning.