1. Margins: generous margins on all four sides.

  • the larger the layout, the bigger the margins
  • thumb space

2. Columns: Establish columns as guides
     (no. of columns depends upon layout)

  • vertical columns
  • two columns are usually adequate
  • make sure the alley of negative space separating the two columns isn't too small or big
  • you need enough space to keep columns visually separate but still cohesive

3. Visual: Position the visual at the top of the layout

4. Cutline. Snuggle the cutline under the visual.

  • flush left and ragged right, directly underneath the visual
  • use the same font you choose for either your headline or your body copy
  • set the cutline somewhere between 9 and 11 points

5. Headline: Position the headline under the cutline.

  • give it visual weight--make it big
  • choose a font that symbolically goes with your design concept
  • no script-style fonts
  • if you can't get the copy in one line, then let the copy tell you when to break.
  • only 2 fonts are allowable

6. Copy: Position the body copy into columns under the headline.

  • Keep the headline and the lead together
  • put your copy in columns.
  • if your copy is too short to fill every column, then fill a column with negative space
  • it's okay to leave a column empty
  • aim for legs between 2 and 10 inches long
  • set your copy between 9 and 11 points using a transparent (easy to read) font
  • shoot for an average of 6-12 words per line.
  • text should be flush left, ragged right
  • don't indent the lead under a headline
  • make sure the top and bottom of each leg looks elegant.

7. Tags: If applicable, place tags (logo, contact info, etc.) in the bottom of the right corner.

  • if nothing else include the logo and the URL
  • place tags in lower right corner
  • use one of your 2 fonts, and make sure it's readable at a small point size.