In my PR publications class we are studying what makes an eye-pleasing, effective design. My professor, Barbra Nixon, introduce us to Robin William’s concept: C.R.A.P.

What is CRAP?

  • Contrast
  • Repetition
  • Alignment
  • Proximity

You want your design to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons. To stay out of the trash can and in the mind’s of your readers, a clean and clear design is necessary. Stick to CRAP, these fundamentals will allow you to create an aesthetically pleasing and purposeful design.

#1. Contrast– “Makes different things different”.  With contrast you can place emphasis on more important things while not giving equal emphasis to every point on your design.

#2. Repetition– “Repeat designs throughout the interface”. This creates consistency and links similar qualities.

#3. Alignment– “Creates a visual flow and visually connects the elements”. This gives the design harmony and directs the eye of the reader.

#4. Proximity– “Groups related elements and separates unrelated ones.” This helps eliminate confusion and creates a reliable pattern.

A great power point is here for you to see, thanks to Barbra Nixon.

An examination of one of the elements- alignment:

About.com defines alignment: One of the principles of design, alignment refers to lining up the top, bottom, sides, or middle of text or graphic elements on a page. Alignment is one of the most obvious principles in a design. Nothing should be placed arbitrarily and everything should be visually connected on the page, according to msu.edu. Alignment is the layout, it gives a publication consistency and balance.

align

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