How to Fuck Up your Design’s Layout (and How to Fix it)

Layout is how the elements of a piece interact with each other to communicate with the viewer.


A key role of a designers job is to take big messages and organise them in an easy digestible way so that the viewer understands exactly what the client wants to convey.

Therefore, Layout plays a really big part in every designer’s life.

layout design example

With that in mind, here are some things to definitely NOT do if you want your design layout to work for you, not against.

How to Fuck Your Layout Up

  • Go overboard with photos
  • Use poor quality, badly composed photos (find out more about GOOD photography here)
  • Take aforementioned badly composed photos and place them in random positions all over the place
  • Giving too much information, like that time you told the bouncer about your urinary tract infection to get to the bar, sorry bathroom, quicker.
  • Being too text heavy. Most of the time your design will need to act fast to get the message across. Providing ALL the small print in one hit is only going to get the message ignored.

And How to Unfuck it

  • Use photography to set the tone of the piece. Think about the message you want your piece to convey. What should the photo be? Do you want it to be the first thing to catch the viewers eye?
  • Entice with just the right amount of info: what is the one thing you want viewers to take away from this piece? This should be the focal point of text and then use headings and sub headings to expand on the title/headline just enough to stay interested and take action.
  • Make the most of White Space. Having a large amount of white space is quite clean and conveys a sense of calm professionalism. Because elements crowded together can induce panic attacks. this tends to be less effective. So make sure you include negative space around the margins of a piece for maximum efficiency.
  • Reread these basic tips on balance and composition in design. Then use them.
  • Find your Focal Point and maintain it. Like having a single focus on the messaging of your piece, having a single focal points saves mixed messaging and confusion.