In this week, reading task talks about visual hierarchy. What is Visual Hierarchy? According to GIS dictionary, Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. In other words, visual hierarchy influences the order in which the human eye perceives what is sees. A visual hierarchy helps readers scan a text, knowing where to enter and exit and how to pick and choose among its offerings.(Upton, 2009)
This article called “Creating exciting and unusual visual hierarchies”, in this article, I think author said an important sentence that is “The key to creating hierarchy is contrast”. Therefore, Knight and Glaser showed six principles of visual hierarchies, which are texture and tone, seeing the designer as reader, combining typefaces, using color, employing multiple types, and using the grid. Designers can achieve visually by relying on several key things.
- The Designer As Reader – The valuable for the designer to identify highly topical subject matter, words and letters that make intriguing connections, challenging language and even shocking statements.
- Texture And Tone – letterforms, words and lines of type come together to form different tonal values and varying characteristics of patterns or texture. Give enough space to draw attention.
- Combining Typefaces To Create Hierarchy – Simple changes in weight, scale, positing, color, tone or font. And visual judgment of texture and tone is key. So the type size is very important.
- Color Type – Certain colors have different associations in different cultures. As a designer needs to carefully select not only the hue, but also the tone of a color. And the grayscale is key point in the color.
- Quantity Of Type – Designer need to select the appropriate order and hierarchy for the task in hand is essential.
- Why Grids Are So Practical – The grid provides a framework and structure for the combination of type and images. And according to research, a large number of designer like to have an uneven number of columns. And another thing is designing a grid with flexibility is important.
I am going to show you one good magazine. I think that is a good example of visual hierarchy and I will explain it.
Project PRX Magazine on Behance.
There are mainly four different type sizes. At the first, most texts are black color, but the main word “PRX” is blue. Readers can easily see it after reading this title. And then, this magazine has plenty of columns. Three is a good uneven number of columns. Because establishes a more intriguing dynamism and asymmetry. Moreover, the whole page lived enough space to show the car’s appearance by picture. Finally, readers feel that the whole page has a little monotonous color, but the blue made this magazine has intriguing connections. So, I think that is a simple, clean and nice design that shows a good magazine of visual hierarchy.
Overall, I believe that creating exciting and unusual visual hierarchies are vital role in the design. And perfect visual hierarchy is undoubtedly the key to designers communicate with the reader.
1.C. Knight, J. and C. Knight, J. (2013). Creating Exciting And Unusual Visual Hierarchies – Smashing Magazine. [online] Smashing Magazine. Available at: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/02/26/creating-visual-hierarchies-typography/ [Accessed 23 Nov. 2014].
2.Behance.net, (2014). Behance. [online] Available at: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Project-PRX-Magazine/8145435 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2014].
3.Upton, E., 2009. Hierarchy. [online] Available at:
http://www.thinkingwithtype.com/contents/text/#Hierarchy [Accessed 15 Nov. 2014].