ruler_20_30There are more than four simple rules, otherwise everyone would be a design genius. However, these four rules will significantly help you to design better. Just becasue you follow these rules doesn’t mean everything you design will be perfect, but it will look significantly better.

The interesting thing is that you probably already know these rules. You’ve seen them. Actually, once you read these posts and begin looking at well designed layouts,  you’ll see the four rules in place EVERYWHERE. It’s just what makes design look right.

Why four rules? Because those of us who aren’t artist need rules to help us do what natural artists see by default. We get very comfortable with a logical approach to design that seems to make sense in our head, but looks bad in reality. We know it looks bad too, but we just don’t know how to make it look better. An artist will know what to do naturally as they have a different way of doing things. We have to rely on rules. And I promise you, some of these rules will stretch you. You won’t want to do it becasue it doesn’t seem natural or right… but if you do it, it will look natural… and right.

So, an easy way to remember the rules is a simple acrostic. CARP.

Actually, I re-arrange the letters to form CRAP. Good acrostics are memorable and I’m just not that in love with fish. The tie in here is that if you don’t follow these four rules, this acrostic is what your design may look like.

Okay, enough of the setup, let’s get to the rules… in the next post.