Overdoing the Design

Overdoing the Design

This entry is kind of an extension for the previous one; avoiding over- designing a page can’t be stressed enough. QuarkXPress is a powerful application that lets you do all kinds of nifty things. But just because you can do all of those things doesn’t mean that you should.

Nothing looks worse than a complex design created by a publishing novice. Professionals know that less is more. Yes, it’s possible to rotate text, skew text and graphics, make cool blends, set type on a curvy line, add multiple colors, stretch and condense type, and bleed artwork off the page. But using all these effects at the same time can overwhelm your audience and make them miss the whole point of the message you’re trying to convey.


Here’s a good rule to remember: Limit special effects to a maximum of three on a two-page spread. Here’s an even better rule: If you’re ever in doubt about whether to add an effect to a page, don’t.

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