In designing a poster, or a newspaper, magazine page, print advertisement, or brochure focus students’ attention on the importance of D-A-M-P: Design, Audience, Message and Purpose. Their work will have more impact and be more effective if they can get all of these elements right.
It is important to highlight the literacy focus of this task, and how considered choice of images, design, layout, colour and text work together to create intended meaning. This process requires preliminary activities deconstructing examples of the text to identify the purpose of the text, audience and how the different modal resources – design and layout, linguistic features, and visual elements – work together to construct meaning.
Visual design is central to the way meaning is communicated through a visual text.
Design teacher Dawn Pedersen’s (Sacramento, California) extensive web based resources provide a wonderful starting point for exploring the different aspects of visual design which need to be considered. In particular, Week 3: Design Principles explores the key elements that underpin design: Alignment, Proximity, Contrast and Repetition. Within this, Design Elements explores Color Harmony, Texture, Use of Imagery, Typography and Font Choice; and the last section looks at purpose, organisation and clarity, and leading the eye through the design.
Also see Visual literacy for more information.
To explore colour further go to: