PARC Principles PPT

Principles of Design
The PARC or CRAP principles
 Proximity
 Alignment
 Repetition
 Contrast
Group related items together
Do not group unrelated items
this grouping gives the reader an instant clue
to the organization pattern
When items are spread out:
do not know where to start reading
can not distinguish flow
eyes tend to wander, can’t be sure if everything
has been read
not sure when you are finished
Closeness implies relationship
By grouping
More organized
Know where to start reading
Know when you are finished
White space more effective
Establish relationships through closeness,
or lack of closeness
How to get effective Proximity
Write items separately on paper, board, etc.
Look at elements and group according to
After groups are formed, play with the
arrangement of groups
Make your design
Analyze Proximity
 Look at the garage sale flyer that you created.
Analyze the proximities of your items and answer the
following questions.
Are there examples of good proximity in your flyer?
Explain why these are good uses of proximity.
Are there examples of poor proximity?
Explain why these are poor uses of proximity.
Make revisions the your flyer, improving your use of
 The principle of Alignment states that:
Nothing should be placed on the page
arbitrarily (randomly).
EVERY item on the page should have a
visual connection with something else on the
Using alignment:
 forces the designer to be conscious of what
he/she is doing.
 When items are aligned, it creates a
stronger, cohesive unit.
Center Alignment
Creates a more formal look
Works well for invitations, greeting cards, etc.
Safe, easy
Sometimes it can be sedate and/or boring
Be conscious and creative with centering.
Mixing Alignments
 This should be avoided at first.
 Stick to using left only, right only or centered
only for now.
 Mixing can disconnect items on a page if it is
done incorrectly.
White Space
 Don’t forget to watch your white space
 Outside white space can add an invisible
border, strengthening alignment.
 Interior white space can strengthen lines, or
push items apart if used incorrectly.
Summary of Alignment
 Every item on the page should have a visual
connection with some other item.
 Find a strong line and use it.
 Basic purpose is to unify and organize.
 Be conscious of where you place things.
 Avoid using more than one alignment.
 Be careful with centering.
 Watch your white space
Analyze Alignment
 Look at the garage sale flyer that you created.
Analyze the alignments that you used and answer the
following questions.
Are there examples of good alignment in your flyer?
Explain why these are good uses of alignment.
Are there examples of poor alignment?
Explain why these are poor uses of alignment.
Make revisions the your flyer, improving your use of
The principle of Repetition states…
 You repeat some aspect of the design
throughout the entire piece.
 Examples include a bold font, and thick line, a
color, a design element, a spatial relationship,
or a particular format.
 Can be thought of as consistency.
What does it add?
 Adds cohesiveness to the look and feel of a
multi-piece work.
 It is a conscious effort to unify all parts of a
Where to find it?
 Take an existing element and push it further.
 Don’t be afraid to be bold, creative and
Headlines, for instance
Multi-page publications
 Repetition is a major factor in the unity of
pages throughout a multi-page publication.
 A reader should be able to instantly tell that
pages 7 and 12 are from the same document.
What is the same?
Business packages
 Consistency is critical.
 Use a STRONG display of repetition within
each piece and between each piece.
 When making your
letterhead, create a layout
that allows you to align the
printed letter with some
element in the design.
Letterhead basics
 Helps guide the reader through the piece.
 Helps unify parts of the design that might
otherwise be disconnected.
What elements are repeated?
Light Text
Any element can work
 If there is an element that interests you, go
with it. Try as many ideas as you can.
 Don’t just use large or obvious elements.
Using small elements can be just as effective.
 The objects do not have to be exactly the
same, but they must be similar enough.
 You can even add something completely new
just for the sake of repetition.
 Note the
different sizes
orientation of
the triangles.
 Also. Some
are filled,
some are
New from old
 You can often pull an element from an
existing design and create a new design
based on that element.
 Just find an element that you like and play
with it.
Less is more…
 The suggestion of a repeated design can be
enough. In other words, it may not be
necessary to repeat the entire element, just a
part of it.
 Basic purpose…
 Unify and add visual interest
 Strengthen a piece and tie it together
 How to get it…
 Take an existing element and push it further.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
 What to avoid…
 Avoid repeating the element so much that it
becomes annoying, or overpowering.
Analyze Repetition
 Identify two types of repetition in your existing
 Are these two examples of repetition used
effectively? Could they be made more
effective? If so, then do so.
 Create a new element in your design and
repeat it in an effective way.
The principle of Contrast states…
 If two items are not exactly the same, make them
different. REALLY DIFFERENT!!!
 Can be created many ways:
Font size (large and small)
Font face
(graceful old style serif against new bold sans serif)
Thin lines and thick lines
Cool colors against warm colors, dark against light.
Shape (tall and narrow against short and wide),
Wide and narrow spacing
Smooth texture and rough texture
Which one would you look at first?
 Both news letters are neat.
 Both are arranged the same.
 The info is the same.
 The difference is the
 A reader should be able to glance at a
document and understand what is going on.
 Information can be organized, but blend
together. This can make the content unclear
at first.
To clear things up….
Make it obvious….
 Elements that are made to contrast may not
contrast enough. To repeat, DON’T BE A
 Make the contrast as obvious as possible.
Wimpy contrast can look like a mistake.
Make it obvious…
Shapes can be fun…
 Shapes can easily be contrasted. Circles
against squares, for example.
 Shapes can also be found in other places.
Columns of text, for example, are rectangles.
Use these to your advantage.
 One way to do this would be to contrast
vertical columns with horizontal rows.
Horizontal vs Vertical
Oh the Drama…
 Contrast can be the most fun element to work
with, and is usually the most dramatic by far.
 Simple changes in contrast can have a huge
 High contrast can get the reader to give your
piece a second look, which is what you want.
Emphasize the important things
 Find the most important things on the page
and emphasize them.
When you do, this can happen…
Review of critical design step tips
 Choose unusual font faces, go outside of times new
roman, Arial, etc.
Use stronger alignments, avoid centering.
Emphasize the important elements and keep them
together. This maintains the focus.
Group related items together and use white space
effectively between the groups.
Find elements you like and repeat them. This
includes elements of contrast.
Add contrast through shapes, colors, textures, font
faces, font/line weights, etc.
Analyze Contrast
 Look at the garage sale flyer that you created.
Analyze the contrast that you used and answer the
following questions.
Are there examples of good contrast in your flyer?
Where? What kind?
Explain why these are good uses of contrast.
Are there examples of poor contrast?
Explain why these are poor uses of contrast.
Make revisions to your flyer, improving your use of
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