Arranging text and graphics on a page or slide can be a challenge for those not familiar with graphic design. Some basic principles can be easily implemented and boost readability and engagement.

Group Related Content

Images should be as close as possible to the narrative that describes them. When readers have to flip pages to connect the two pieces, we impair their cognition. Keep the narrative and the image or graph on the same page, to the extent possible. Inside graphs, this reinforces the idea that data should be directly labelled, rather than referenced by a disconnected legend.

Ample White Space

Empty space on a page or a slide creates visual breathing room, where the eyes can relax. The temptation is often to cram a page full of text but readers prefer some blank spots. This can be achieved through the use of columns and healthy margins in reports. In slides, this means fewer words.

Alignment is Key

As best as possible, try to align images with text and headings with narrative. Everything should line up with everything else. This creates a sense of professionalism and organisation, whereas misalignment signals sloppiness to viewers.




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