Print Layout & Design

Print Layout & Design

“There are three responses to a piece of design - yes, no & WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser

People are three times more likely to immediately delete/discard an email over a physical flyer or statement. – source KMP Economic study.

Well designed brochures, booklets, magazines and leaflets are the unsung heroes of advertising. Graphic design plays a critical role in the success of print collateral for your brand, there are many principals to consider for this type of design. Unlike Building and vehicle signage most print graphic design is held and read at a much closer viewing point, so there tends to be more information that needs to be considered. 

The primary graphic design fundamentals below are paramount to the success of your design.

  • balance, alignment & margins
  • proximity & visual hierarchy
  • repetition & typography
  • colour, contrast & negative space

Designing for print also requires the understanding of the print process, where

  • safe zones
  • bleed
  • trimming
  • colour matching

all need to be implemented to ensure your design translates from screen to the printer.  

Below is a brief outline of the design fundamentals that allsigns print and design Cairns believe are crucial to the success of your print design.

Balance, alignment & margins

  • Balance provides stability and structure to the overall design. Shapes, text boxes and images are all elements that form your design. It is important to understand the visual weight each design element has, however this does not mean that all the elements have to be equal size or evenly distributed, balance does not mean symmetry.
  • Symmetrical balance is when the elements are evenly divided on either side of the design whereas you can also have asymmetry where balance is achieved by scale, contrast and colour to achieve design flow. 
  • Alignment plays a pivotal role in creating relationships between design elements to ensure they appear clean and seamless. It provides an ordered appearance to images, shapes, and text.
  • Margins need to be considered to ensure that not only balance and alignment is achieved but that safe zones are executed successfully before moving into print.


  • Colour matters! This crucial design principal dictates the overall mood of a design. The colours you pick represent your brand and its tone, so be careful with the palette you choose. The graphic designer team at all signs print and design Cairns are passionate about colour with an extensive knowledge of colour theory and how colours can make your audience feel and respond to your designs. 
  • Contrast is a beautiful thing and happens when there is a difference between two opposing design elements. The most common types of contrast are created using Colour – dark against light, light against dark, Typography Serif against San-serif or Bold against Regular and Size – large against small. Contrast guides a viewer’s attention to the key elements, ensuring each side is visable and legible.
  • Negative space essentially is the area between or around the design elements, this space is left blank. If used creatively and effectively it can create shape and enhance your important graphic design elements. Embrace the negative space!

proximity & visual hierarchy

  • Proximity helps create relationships between similar or related design elements. These elements do not need to be grouped, instead, they should be visually connected by typography, colour size or shape. 
  • Visual Hierarchy is basically formed when extra visual weight is given to the most important element or message in your design. This can be achieved in various ways. Using larger or bolder fonts to highlight the title is a very common way of doing this; you can also place the key message higher than the other design elements or add focus to larger, more detailed and more colourful visuals than the element that are less relevant or smaller images.

typography & repetition

  • Typography is one of the integral pillars of graphic design. It will speaks volumes about your brand when executed successfully. Sometimes typography is so effective it’s all you need to showcase your design concept.
  • Repetition is a fundamental design element, especially when it comes to your branding. It it strengthens your design by creating a flow and consistency by tying together the same elements such as logo, colour palette and typography. This makes the brand or design instantly recognisable to your audience.


Stationery Design

Flyer Design

Magazine & Flyer Design

Business Card Design

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