COMM 362, A final word: Ross's nine principles of publication design
(Instructor: Ross Collins, North Dakota State University)

These represent some final guidelines for good design, based on discussions throughout the semester.

1. KISS. For instance, don’t mix many typefaces or leading combinations.

2. Balance, but generally not symmetrical.

3. Closure. Strive for a design that "hangs together," a feeling of “wholeness.”

4. Appropriate typeface. It sets the personality of your work.

5. Dull. Don’t be. Look at other designs for ideas.

6. White space. Have no fear of using it, but remember to group it.

7. Points of entry. Standard procedure: illustration, headline, deck, drop or stick-up cap, story, pull quote, side bar.

8. Technical perfection. One typo, headline a little bit off center—unfairly or not, people focus on these things.

9. Awareness of Gestalt principles: proximity, similarity, continuity, closure. If you forget everything else, these principles alone can guide you to good design.

Copyright 2004 by Ross F. Collins <>