08 September 2016

Reading gravity

Great minds think alike; fools seldom differ.

I recently learned that something I’ve called “the Cosmo principle” on this blog is an actual thing that proper designers talk about, except they have a different name for it. They call it “reading gravity.”

The picture above is sometimes called a “Gutenberg diagram.” Apparently it was given that name by newspaper designer Edmond Arnold (interviewed here, where he refers to the “Gutenberg principle”). I’m not completely sure about this; need to do some more reading.

What this image calls the “primary optical area,” I’ve usually called the “sex story,” because that’s invariably what occupies that position on every cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. The “terminal area” is usually what I’ve called the “take home message.”

What I find usually ends up in the lower left corner, or “weak fallow area” as its called here, are my methods section. And that’s fine, because those are usually only of interest to the afficiandos.

This diagram is worth thinking about as you lay out your poster. Is the most important stuff in the most important places? Too often I see critical material in the bottom, or the terminal area crowded up with references and acknowledgements. I’ve done the latter myself, but this diagram points out that the lower right corner is more important that I have sometimes given it credit for.

Hat tip to Heather Sears.

External links

The Gutenberg Diagram in Web Design
Understand how you can double the effectiveness of your publications in one simple move!
Reading gravity goes out the window
Getting back to basics with Ed Arnold

Picture from here

1 comment:

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