Assignment 07.11: Paragraph Alignment and Visual Hierarchy


The goal of this assign­ment is to develop an under­stand­ing of the typo­graphic attrib­utes of align­ment of type in rela­tion­ship to the con­text of the infor­ma­tion and mes­sage. The assign­ment also seeks to cre­ate port­fo­lio pieces that demon­strate the fun­da­men­tal use of the grid for composition.


By chang­ing the vari­ables of type in small incre­ments, you will explore the del­i­cate bal­ance between par­tic­u­lar type­faces, space set­tings, align­ment options and composition.

Background Reading

  • Dab­ner, p 62–91.
  • Kane, p 76–113.
  • Koenig, Chap­ter 7 and 8.


Cre­ate a series of typo­graphic lay­outs that rein­force an implied mes­sage as a visu­ally uni­fied set while allow­ing each page to have a unique align­ment and content.

Part One

Read the assigned text (assn07_11_text.txt) and develop a mes­sage. Next, pro­duce a com­po­si­tion using Para­graphs, A‑D, one (1) time each on four sep­a­rate pages. Each page should use ONLY one for­mat (ranged left, right, cen­tered, jus­ti­fied). The text will also be found on the server. There is no lim­i­ta­tion on shape of the text block, com­bi­na­tions of type­faces within the fam­ily, kern­ing, and lead­ing, but use a type­face you have not used in pre­vi­ous assign­ments. No out­side ele­ments or text styles (out­line, shadow, etc). You must use let­ter size paper and print black and white only. You must use only the given text. All text must be used. No out­side ele­ments or tints. Look at the char­ac­ter of your given face and use that to aid in your design deci­sions. Make due with what you have and let the con­tent guide you. Con­trary to logic, the use of the grid pro­motes cre­ativ­ity, yet retains con­sis­tency. The four com­po­si­tions should func­tion simul­ta­ne­ously inde­pen­dent, while remain­ing visu­ally related. Do research on what oth­ers and/or pro­fes­sion­als have done. Look for ideas only. Tak­ing a design directly from another per­son is con­sid­ered pla­gia­rism and pun­ish­able by law.

  • Page 1 Para­graph A — ranged (flush) left / ragged right
  • Page 2 Para­graph B — ranged (flush) right / ragged left
  • Page 3 Para­graph C — centered
  • Page 4 Para­graph D — justified

Pro­duce five thumb­nails for each para­graph (20 sketches total). By review­ing your ideas with your peers first, you will increase you chances of mak­ing a higher grade plus waste less time on its pro­duc­tion. There will be no for­mal sketch review at this stage. You should have enough expe­ri­ence to pro­duce on your own, or you must have the ini­tia­tive to seek peer or instruc­tor review.

Choose the best sketch from each Para­graph and align­ment style and begin to recre­ate the com­po­si­tion on the com­puter. Tem­plate files will define basic grid, siz­ing and type­face choices.

Do not be afraid to pro­duce sev­eral visual vari­a­tions at this stage, but be sure to save your work as sep­a­rate files. You should also print, eval­u­ate and revise your solu­tions before the final is due. Each and every visual and orga­ni­za­tional deci­sion should answer the ques­tion “How does this relate to my message?”

Part Two

Recre­ate your dig­i­tal com­po­si­tions from Part One, but this time you may add one spot color to the com­po­si­tion. The color should be cho­sen care­fully and be used in less than 20% of the com­po­si­tion. An over depen­dence on color is sign of an imma­ture design. Cre­ate two (2) multi-page PDF files for Parts One and Two and upload the solu­tions to the appro­pri­ate drop­box on the course D2L server.

Grid Setup

Begin a file and set up a let­ter size (8.5” x 11”) doc­u­ment with .5” mar­gins on all sides. Go to the menu and choose: Lay­out> Cre­ate Guides. Set the dia­logue box to the fol­low­ing: 7 rows; 5 columns, .1667 in (or 1 p) gut­ter; Fit Guides to: Page; check Pre­view. Next go to Menu> Pref­er­ences> Grids…> Base­line Grid: Start: 0p0; Incre­ment Every: 0p3; View Thresh­old: 75%; Check: Grids in Back; Click: OK.


  • The fol­low­ing rubric posted on D2L will deter­mine assign­ment score: Assign­ment 07.11: Para­graph Align­ment and Visual Hierarchy


lay­out, grid aware­ness, align­ment, lead­ing, kern­ing, type­face selec­tion, PDF cre­ation, printing


pen­cil, lay­out paper, text from the server, Adobe InDe­sign, access to b/w and color laser printer


As defined by cor­re­spond­ing cal­en­dar item, drop­box, dis­cus­sion or con­tent topic description.