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Week 1: Repetition and Contrast

Posted on: Sep 06, 2017

Two of the most fundamental aspects of design are two that we probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.  Sure, most people think about what colors they’ll use on a flyer or what font they want for their PowerPoint, but repetition?  Contrast?  What impact do they have my project?  What do those terms even mean?


Repetition, much like it sounds, is all about repeating design elements throughout a project.  Those elements can range from a particular font to a certain color scheme.  This element is crucial because it unites a project, making it a cohesive whole and not a mishmash of different elements and information. This is especially true for longer projects like PowerPoints, where repetition provides consistency, which in turn enhances both the professionalism and clarity of your presentation.  If you’d like to check out repetition in action, just look at the headings in this blog post; you recognize that that font size and weight denote a title and a shift in subject.  Part of the reason you recognize that is repetition.


Much like repetition, contrast is pretty self-explanatory.  It simply means incorporating contrasting design elements into your project, whatever that is.  Now, you might be asking yourself right about now, “Don’t repetition and contrast contradict each other?”  The answer is, not really.  In fact, they actually have a pretty symbiotic relationship.  Because while you need repetition to tie everything together, you need contrast to draw your viewer’s eye.  After all, if everything was the same, it’d look pretty darn boring.  The most important thing to remember about contrast, whether we’re talking fonts, colors, or images, is boldness (and no I don’t mean the big “B” next to the font box on Microsoft Word).  If you’re going to make two elements different, make sure they’re noticeably different.  If you don’t, it’ll look like a mistake rather than an intentional design choice, and that’s only going to hurt you with your audience, whoever that is.

Check back next week for more design tips!

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