Week 3: Layout Design


Layout Design is the art of arranging visual elements in order to achieve certain objectives. Like with most parts of graphic design, layout design could encompass an entire course or even program of study all on it’s own, but for our purposes we’ll focus on some of the basic concepts, techniques and tools to get an introductory understanding of this graphic design concept. In this week’s lecture we will be discussing the principles and practices of Layout Design as it relates to print-based Magazine styles as well Web-based styles. We will explore six basic principles of layout and composition and look at examples of how these principles help your audience flow through your layout with the optimal impact; a concept called Viewpoint. We’ll look at common compositional techniques and explore the process and tools you can use to help guide your layout designs.


By the end of the third week you should be able to

  1. Describe the golden ratio in relation to layout design
  2. Employ the 6 principles of layout design discussed in class
  3. Relate the concept of Viewpoint to your layout designs
  4. Exercise compositional techniques
  5. Manipulate the use of Grids to create layout designs within Adobe Illustrator
  6. Use appropriate licensing and references/citations when using others work


  • Golden Ratio/Section
  • Principles of Layout and Composition
    • Alignment
    • Balance
    • Contrast
    • Proximity
    • Repetition
    • White Space
  • Compositional Techniques
    • Viewpoint (leading the eye)
    • Rule of Thirds
    • Rule of Odds
    • Rule of Space
    • Simplification
  • Process of Layout Design
  • Use of Grids in Illustrator
  • Open Licenses and Copyright

Lecture Notes

INCC 110: Week 3

What’s Next?

You’ll need to work through the lynda.usask.ca Illustrator CC Essential Training (2015) with Justin Seeley videos by the start of next weeks class.

Please watch:

lynda.usask.ca Videos

(Approximate viewing time 45 min.)


You need to create a Magazine or Website Layout by Friday. See the Magazine or Website Layout Assignment details in your syllabus.