The Basics of Layout

Every designer should know the basics of layout.1

I don’t design books, and despite ostensibly being a UX designer, I don’t design apps or websites. I do design slides, (or possibly slidedocs).

Slides are single pages, so the Canons of Page Construction tend not to work for them. I do love a good construction diagram though.

The Golden Canon

For slides, I start with a 14x8 grid in Keynote. I built my first one using the instructions in this Medium post. The outer columns and rows are gutters, so the actual working space is 12x6.

Type sizes are trickier. I tend towards the safety of a 1:2 ratio of type sizes. That is, if you start with a 24pt base size you double the type size for each level up in your type hierarchy. Though a golden ratio is probably more pleasing.

After that, for me, the basics of layout lean towards thinking about visual hierarchy. And practice.

  1. I’m following Danah Abdulla’s Designerly Ways of Knowing↩︎

August 5, 2022