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  • Writer's pictureLinda Pizzitola, Kauai, Hawaii

Contrast: The Design Secret of the Universe

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

by Laura Lamar. Excerpted from Before & After magazine

Contrast: The Design Secret of the Universe

Design isn’t just about making things look good. It’s about helping the reader receive information.

Contrast is a designer’s most powerful communication tool: It can attract the eye, create visual priorities, establish landmarks, control movement, lead, label, emphasize and define.

I’ll go so far as to call it ‘the design secret of the universe!’

Contrast can make one thing appear more important than, or different from, something else. It can emphasize meaning and organize content.

Think of weight, scale and form as your primary tools, because they have the biggest impact. Then combine them with one another and with placement, value, quantity and texture to refine and modify their effects.

Diagnostic tools of contrast

Use the tools of contrast to emphasize the meaning of design, to change the tone and personality of the words from quiet and subtle to bold and confident, from formal and businesslike to casual and friendly.

Contrast can whisper instead of shout and be equally effective.

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