Design Principles

(Derived from Michigan Creative in Ann Arbor)

Pride in Our Work

What makes a print ad, a website, or a brochure particularly engaging? Is it the way space is used? The way a photograph is placed within that space? Is it the subject matter of that photograph? Or the writing and the way it invites you to read?

Ultimately, it’s all these things working in concert. Ending with good design means starting with good choices. Here are five of the most important principles: 

1. Use of Negative Space

Negative space (commonly referred to as white space) is the often-overlooked design element that allows a layout to breathe. When successfully utilized, it gives your eye somewhere to rest  —allowing the audience to engage with the content in an orderly, comfortable fashion.

2. Proper Hierarchy

Proper hierarchy describes how written content is laid out on the page. Specific point sizes and line breaks should be considered based on how you'd like your audience to digest the messaging. Generally speaking: headline first, body copy second.

3. Stakeholder-focused Copy

Write from the audience's perspective. Give them something to relate to. Tell them a story—even if it’s a three-line story—and put them at the center of it.

4. Compelling Photography

Utilize images that are emotionally resonant. Photography should be evocative and thought-provoking. Our photos should embody the personality of our brand.

5. Essential Branding

It’s important to brand all communication and marketing material with the proper UM-Flint logos and graphics. Every communication is a branding opportunity. Make the most of it.