All writing is designed. Even the simplest choices, such as using I2-point type instead of 10 point type or using 11/4-inch margins instead of 1-inch margins are design decisions.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use the processes and principles of good document design.
• Add headings and subheadings to your writing to help your read¬ers find the information they need.
• Add visuals to your papers and thus change their impact upon your readers. Charts, graphs, tables, drawings, clip art - all are available to today's computer users.
• If your instructor doesn't require that you follow exactly the style and format prescribed by an authority such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) or the American Psychological Association (APA), you can create a format of your own for your academic report. Similarly, if the company you work for does not dictate style and format for its written projects, you can create your own.
• If you combine different fonts and type styles, break your paper up with headings and subheadings, include visuals to support your points, and use different page layouts (maybe designing all the pairs of pages as two-page spreads, for example), you can lift the appearance of your work up out of the ordinary.
• For a class project or a business presentation, you can create ef¬fective slides to augment or reinforce an oral presentation showing them on an overhead projector or on a computer screen. Such slides will help you hold your audience's attention and do a better job of selling your idea or product.
• You can create a Web site to display your work. A growing num¬ber of teachers are encouraging students to create their work as Web pages, thus reinforcing the vital link between today's classrooms and tomorrow's professional communication needs.
• If you're conscious of a few design principles when you create your resume, you can turn any version of it - print or HTML - into a more effective document.
• Your letter of application for a job can be more attractive if it fol¬lows a few basic design principles.
• In a newsletter for your office, your neighborhood or other group, you can combine news stories, announcements and pic¬tures in an attractive format that will catch people's attention and keep them informed. Such news letters can also keep clients and donors up-to-date on performance and financial needs.
• In brochures, you can use graphics and text to educate readers or promote a product or a service.
• Your announcements or news releases and a variety of other kinds of documents can all profit in their own ways from the processes and principles of document design.
• You can create informational brochures to educate clients and sponsors or as part of a fund - raising campaign. You can make these simple in black and white or you can use colorful graphics and pictures.
• You can compose posters and flyers to announce events and draw people to them.
• You can produce attractive program to enhance the audience’s enjoyment of a performance.
To continue the section on Considering Design
2. Planning A Design
3. Considering Type
4. Considering Layout
5. Designing For The Website