Page Layout Adventures . . .

This page faces the high color page from two posts ago, and tells the story of a fun (and fattening) lunch with friends at a Canyon Road Caffe. The lively layout adds to the fun, but it is skirting the edge of success . . .

There are many ways to sketch a multi-faceted experience on a single page. Grid layouts are a popular way. They are pretty calm and contained unless things jump the borders – more about that another time. There is also the vignette approach without real borders, but where all the elements are arranged according to good layout basics. This kind of layout is also pretty sedate.

I could have used either of these for this page, but it faces a page of crazy color and I wanted the sense of visual excitement to continue, so I decided to push the design envelope as far as I could without falling off the edge.

The biggest rule breaker is the red umbrella. It has a strong direction pointing SE, so it really should be located in the NW corner of the page – in order to lead the eye into the page. Where it is in the NE corner, it could easily lead off the page. But it doesn’t. Here’s why.

The eye is caught and led right back around to the center of the layout by the careful placement of other elements: the arrowhead shape of the three bottles, the strong colorful verticals of the stand which echo the red color, the little arrow in red, the curving french fries, the crossbars of the stool legs in red once again, and the “arrows” of the musical notes. The Caffe sign is a strong anchor and keeps you from going out that corner. The only thing that seems out of place is the green behind the umbrella because the color is not echoed anywhere else on the page.

But that is taken care of when you see the whole spread in the sketchbook . . .

Isn’t design fun? The more you learn about it, the more you can have fun with it. Creating an “almost” failure and getting it to work, makes a layout dynamic and exciting because of the visual tension.



  1. ‘Love the way the green by the umbrella is echoed on facing page at a diagonal. I find a diagonal can really give visual “motion” to a page. Nice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *