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4 Tips For Your Text Hierarchy: Design

Most people can intuitively understand why text is placed in specific places when designing. But if you’re not a designer you don’t necessarily notice the importance of it until you have to do it.
Figure for the people that read my other blog excerpts and go to film their own content, or people who are looking to put vital information in text on a video or photo. I have put forth some tips as to what you should look to do when including the pertinent information in while keeping a professional look.

  1. Size

You all have seen text that shows up for movie trailers.
There is a HUGE text with the title of the movie then a lot of small text.

Then there is even smaller text after that.

Let’s take one of my favorite movies of all time: Ocean’s 11.

What people may not know is, these actors care a lot about when their names are credited. You get paid more if you’re the first person because you’re more than likely the people putting butts in seats.

Next after that the person named last gets more credit as well. You may see on posters or on shows a “and also starring..” These are usually reserved for older actors who have been famous for a very long time. Look for a movie with Morgan Freeman that is reasonably knew. You will see it.

This movie in particular they opted to go in alphabetical order because everyone was a money puller except for Don Cheadle who decided to keep his name out to let Clooney be first.

I say all of that to say this. The most important people were at the very top to ensure you would see it yet that is only the second thing you see. The first is the movie title. This is always the center focus. For your business this space is for your logo or business name. Nothing else should ever be bigger.

2. Contrast

Back to the title. Most people will say that the subheader should always be directly under and for the most part I agree but rules are made to be broken and it was done here. They do it correctly. They could have made it white like the Title text but they didn’t. Why?

These money pullers need their own space and why even care about the name ranks if its going to be hidden in red? They did this because they care about the scenery. Taking all of the intention of the graphics doesn’t help them sell movies. They need to let consumers understand what the movie could be about when they walk by the theatre and aren’t 100% sure which movie they want to see. Those half in-half out patrons are what decide if a movie is successful.

They place their names at the very top and use a contrasted red that is not intrusive to the scenery and almost matches. I like this because once you see it then you instantly will read all of the names. I also like it because it doesn’t disrupt the scene which you should follow as well. Your information and contact details should be seen but if its overlayed in a way that covers your entire scene-which most likely is the very end- just take the scene out entirely so it doesn’t look clunky. A nice white or back scene is always a safe choice.

Understand if you are placing any text information whether it is in video or a poster-have a reason for why it is placed there and if you don’t have a good one then go with what has worked for everyone else and structure it all together.

3. Fonts

And we’re back to the poster!
Look at any design anywhere. Most companies have a brand guide that have two fonts: A primary font, and you guessed it. A secondary font. They are ALWAYS complimentary to each other. They may look similar or they may not. The poster uses four fonts but lets focus on the main two. Everything is used with caps so it doesn’t look disruptive but the title has a font that has a lot of kerning in between the letters that allows the title to not look bunched up together. Choosing a clear and legible font is always the safest over hard to read fonts. You always want your audience to know what the words say and looking online for cool fonts may hurt you. Look at any designer handbag site, they use the same fonts even if they are the trend setters of the future with the most edgy clothes at times. If they can stay tamed with their font choices, so can you.

Using a secondary font for information that is not the title can create a different look where your audience will naturally gravitate to read as well. Find two fonts that you think pair well and see how they look together. Whatever they are, stay consistent as to which is the primary and which is the secondary.

4. Space

Most rules are broken here. Mostly because there has really only been one rule. Put the information in the middle.

Break the rule when it works.

Last time I mention this. The poster. There is a bunch of created negative space at the top. They vignetted the image to have negative space for the actors names. Yes it creates contrast but they could’ve done this anywhere.

Choose where you could have negative space and create it if you’d like just as they did or when you are able to. Here is a photo where they created their own negative space to an extent.

Yes it is artificial as they created a box but there is a ton of space they could have done this! It is literally blue for 70% of the image. They did not put the title in the middle. They created the sense of where the person was walking was the Pirelli logo. The main focus is the shoe and naturally you look at the one color that stands out from the red. They used contrast, good sizing, and great spacing.

Take these tips with a grain of salt as all rules are meant to be broken. This can help when trying to find where the best place to put your Call To Actions and logos but sometimes you may have to create the space to make them look the way you want them to.


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