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AMiable Solution #254: Drawing Lines



Ask a marketer what value a “line” in an ad or brochure provides, and you’ll probably hear something about the power of words.

Ask a designer the same question, and you’ll hear about the importance of creating and expressing a message through visual cues.

As marketers, we need to understand that communicating a message to customers, donors, and prospects isn’t just about a great offer and a pretty picture to accompany it. Communicating a message requires the integration of those two elements, the merging of the written line with the drawn one to fully engage audiences and convey the right message.

According to Sergio Santana, freelance graphic and web designer and author of the Delta Designz blog, graphic designers use seven different types of lines in their work:

1. Basic Line: A point with no dimensions set in motion. These lines can vary in width and length, convey different moods or feelings, describe shape, and help audiences recognize familiar objects without displaying actual qualities of the object.

2. Implied Line: A series of points or figures—people in a line, cars in a row, etc.—that the eye automatically connects.

3. Psychic Line: An invisible line connecting one element to another, created in our minds based on visual cues, including arrows, signs pointing in a specific direction, the direction of a person’s head or eyes, etc.

4. Contour Lines: Used to make up forms and figures in a drawing.

5. Horizontal lines: Lines that go from left to right. These lines typically convey a feeling of stillness, lack of motion, or rest.

6. Vertical Lines: Lines that go up and down. These lines convey a sense of height and alertness and can be associated with a person standing up.

7. Diagonal Lines: Associated with movement or lack of stability. Diagonal lines also indicate depth when using perspective.

Picking the right lines and using them appropriately can help you emphasize your written message, organize or divide a space, direct the flow of content, and direct viewers’ eyes.

Which lines will you use next?


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