“If you don’t know how to walk, you can’t run”

Gina Bowden-Pierce structured her presentation around her belief that all designers, no matter what level, have to start with and always return to the basics. “If you don’t know how to walk, you can’t run,” she explained.

So she began with what she called the nuts and bolts.

All newspaper design has to have the following:

  • A point of entry (beginning)
  • A hit (most important piece of the page)
  • A strut (transition to next important piece of the page)
  • An anchor (end)

She stressed the importance of hierarchy when it comes to designing pages. The biggest and heaviest piece of art or text should go at the top. And your number one task as a designer is to help the reader. “It’s not about you, it’s always about them,” Bowden-Pierce said.

She said that readers look at visual elements in the following hierarchies:

  • big to small
  • black to white
  • color to black and white
  • unusual to usual

When it comes to typography, Bowden-Pierce said that the most important thing is readability, and that it’s okay to go big. “Sometimes you have to shout to get noticed,” she said.

That’s so true. In more ways than one.

-Gabriela Szewcow

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