Here - English 112: Writing Like an Expert

CRAPS: Principles of Design for your
Multimodal Report
30 November 2010
English 104 – 18 & 27
Contrast – Causing the appearance of text or other elements to differ greatly (in
color or typeface, for instance) so that important elements stand out more or to
improve readability.
Example 1: Here, the
contrast in colors helps
distinguish between the
header “Example 1:” and the
rest of the text. Offering a
little splash of color here can
be more inviting and visually
interesting than simply
bolding, italicizing, or
underlining a header.
Having trouble reading this?
You don’t need glasses.
Here a lack of contrast
makes these words difficult
to read.
Ah, much better… By
contrasting the colors with
the image, it makes the text
distinguishable from the
Consistency is also key. Don’t make things messy (like in this slide) by providing
lots of color without good reason. Every color should have a purpose.
Repetition – Repeating certain text or elements in the composition to help
readers lock in on key ideas or navigate the composition more easily.
Obviously, consistency is again key in repetition. By repeating images, you create
a visual theme. By repeating other patterns, you provide a consistent “map” that
help people read what you are presenting more easily.
Alignment – Lining up text and other elements (left, right, centered) to show
connections between different kinds of information, to make a composition easier
to read, and/or to make it look more professional.
Left alignment is
typically the default,
since in English we
read from left to
Center alignment is often
used in websites, but can
be difficult to read
because the reader’s eye
must constantly look for
the beginning of the line in
a slightly different place.
Center alignment can
often be useful for one line
Right alignment is
also not as
readable. But it may
be helpful to set of
information that is
very different from
the rest of the text.
 - As you see in this website,
alignment does not have to be merely left, right, or center. You can pick an
imaginary line in the page to align everything with.
 The key again is consistency and purpose. Pick an alignment and stick with it.
Don’t do what you see in this slide.
Proximity – Placing text or other elements closer or farther apart from one
another to show relationships, or degree of relationships, between them.
Captions on images are a
good basic example of
proximity. The caption
needs to be close to the
image to show that it is
describing the image.
Here is a cake my wife and I made
for last year’s Superbowl.
What does it imply when I put
these two images in close
Size – Increasing or decreasing the size of text or elements to emphasize more
important or less important information
Obviously, large
text capture’s the
reader’s attention
more readily than
small text. It
suggests that this
should be read
Small text suggests
less vital or
information or
finer details that
are covered in
more depth.
Size differences
can also prioritize
images. What you
make big will take
priority over what
you make small