All about CRAP

When designing a publication your goal is often to avoid creating something that looks like crap, but the word crap is an important  element to any successful piece of work.  Lets begin with the word itself; “C” stands for contrast, “R” is for repetition, “A” is for alignment, and finally “P” is for proximity.  This useful acronym is not my own but that of author Robin Williams in the “Non-Designers Design Book”. (  http://www.ratz.com/ ) (http://www.amazon.com/Non-Designers-Design-Book-Typographic-Principles/dp/1566091594 ) Contrast is important because it makes the publication intriguing to the eye.  This method gives you the option to emphasize the important points in your work by setting them in a different font, size or position.  This also gives the work an extra burst of liveliness.  Using shapes and locations will create a far more dynamic image.  Repetition gives your work a form of structure and constancy.  This helps create an overall sense of what is being expressed.  Keeping the important points emphasised by repeating them is going to help get your message across. The “A” is for alignment.  Aligning your work makes it flow better and seem more professional.  Keeping a strict alignment will give everything on your page or brochure a cleaner look.  This method also creates a connection between all your information.  Tieing it together keeps it interesting. Finally, “P” stands for proximity.  Keeping everything that needs to be close in its proper place will make it clearer.  This means that similar information will stay where it belongs.  In a way, it is like braking your publication down into chapters.  These four letters spell CRAP, but they can also spell success when it comes to graphic and structural design.  The information in you work is very important to your client and placing that info in a clean, clear, and concise design will express that importance to your audience.  This acronym is a good one but if your not comfortable with saying or remembering the word CRAP, try CARP, PRAC or, in our case, PRCA.

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