[Scribus] Visual representation on the page

Gregory Pittman gpittman
Sat Oct 13 17:04:35 CEST 2007

Roger wrote:
> A designer does not simply throw stuff onto a page and then fiddle around
> pushing shapes to get the page working, he has to 'know' and be aware of some
> affecting criteria beforehand.
> A couple of tricks have helped me. These are my personal views and employing
> them has increased the desire in the recipients to read our newsletter where as
>   previously they simply threw it aside.
> 1.--  the 'Z' line of sight which says something about a person scanning a
> document, any document and within the first second or two the eye travels from
> top left thru top right, diagonally down to bottom left then to bottom right of
> a page, an article, a book, a pamphlet, what ever.
> In that instant there must be sufficient information transferred into the
> observer's mind to trigger further investigation. Colours at this time are
> unimportant and likely to be distracting. it could be a blank page with 4 words
> in black type for all the reader cares.
> I experimented like this.
> Put a word, 4 - 6 letters in each corner of the scan/read section of a page, 18
> mm left margin, 32 mm top margin 15 mm left margin and 12 mm bottom margin and
> give the page to someone who has never seen it before for 3 seconds, odds on
> they will read each word and then their eyes will move to the exact centre of
> the page, they will then say the page is blank -- but will be able to tell you 2
>   of the 4 words. If the words are placed according to the Golden Ratio they
> will see all 4 words in less than 2 seconds and not go to the centre of the page.
> do it with colored circles or shapes and they will see only the colours that
> make then happy or angry.
> The top right corner is critical and no image should be exactly on this junction.
> A date or some minor peripheral information can go here to fill a void.
> The image that would go in that corner should be placed according to the Golden
> Ratio rule so that the important part of the image, say for example, the eyes or
> forehead, the brand of a device depicted in the image, the feature of the image,
> etc.
> The bottom line of information signals the end of the page.
> Columns are very specific.
> 1 column signals a personal letter.
> 2 columns signals an attempt at page formatting - unless - the columns are
> different widths with significant whitespace between.
> 3 columns signals information
> 4 -7 signals tabloid media with the inherent " you can believe this if you want"
> imagery.
> -- Column widths are critical to what information is being give to the reader
> and how quickly they absorb key info.
> -- A page does not have to have the columns going top to bottom unless its
> tabloid media.
> -- A thin line 2/3rds across the page signals the end of that column length
> under which a new number and width of columns is very acceptable.
> -- People scan the info in a column using the 'Z' so key words have to be in
> those positions. Read th top line, a few middle words and the bottom line, if
> the info is good they read the column.
> -- Colors can and often do detract from the information unless very specifically
> targeted to a particular range of reader/observer.
> Images will do this but they must be simple representations, not complex.
> Colors are of both secondary and primary importance used to convey triggers
> like, hunger, anger, joy, reverence, quiet, longing etc.
> In fact colours are somewhat over used.
> Some of the world's most renown film images and movies are in black and white
> and convey all that needs to be told in the imagery dialog.
> - Position of boxes, whether real or imaginary are of great importance on the page.
> - Visual boxes / lines surrounding objects imply "jail term" " capture" "not
> open to me"
> - Vertical lines signal entrapment, vertical white spaces instead of vert lines
> signal openness and honesty.
> - Lines, full length across a page imply a visual barrier, "Don't go further
> than this line"
> -- Using a 1 line short sentence often replaces a line.
> -  A small uncomplex line drawing image represents a line but encourages the eye
> to go further.
> A designer , if at all possible, holds in his or her mind an image of the type
> of persons who will get information from this document.
> Will it be a service technician, a health worker, an elderly person, a laborer,
> a CEO, a housewife, a sports person, a shop customer, a disinterested, bored
> person, etc.
> What are their circumstances when they receive the information page - will the
> be in their home, at work, in the street, in a care facility, etc all has an
> impact on the first 1-3 seconds after receiving the page.
> These factors are, I have found,  what I as a page designer needs to know before
> during and after the design work. for me tweaking the final product is a last
> resort and then only a minor thing.
I think there is a lot of truth in what you're saying, although some are 
perhaps relative truths. It would be a valuable addition to our Wiki if 
someone or a collection of people could begin to build  one or more 
pages that demonstrate what you're saying (and other things for that 
matter). This might be a situation where we could actually make use of 
the discussion tab in the Wiki pages, perhaps in this fashion:
1. One or more examples of design layout are shown, side-by-side if 
multiples. Above or underneath could be an explanatory note indicating 
what is intended by the example, and the particular design issue/problem 
demonstrated, eg, what problem is shown or solved. An assessment may or 
may not be included on the page.
2. In the discussion tab, interpretations or critiques are entered by 
others with their opinion(s) about design, impact, legibility, and so on.

Explaining in words is one thing, but examples have a very profound 
impact if chosen and executed well. Of course, we want examples 
unencumbered by any copyright issues, so ideally they would either need 
to be new material or new variations on others creations -- like auto 
design, I think there is a degree of understanding that there is a lot 
of borrowing of ideas, and as long as it's not outright copying, this is 
all part of the day to day work process.


More information about the scribus mailing list