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Are You Aligned?

Alignment. One of the most fun and most frustrating elements of design work. But did you know that simply changing the alignment of your own piece can change it entirely?

This is centered alignment.

There is a time and place for this style. But to be quite honest, when we see posters or flyers etc. created with center alignment, unless there's a good reason within the piece, all it does is scream, "amateur." Centered alignment creates a false sense of creativity when you don't know what else to do. Unfortunately, using it can backfire. You run into all sorts of trouble with how the lines are laid out, then you start fiddling with hard returns so it won't look so strange, and all that does is create more problems as you continue to edit the text.

For documents, lists, poster information, flyer bullet points and more, try left alignment. That's what this paragraph is. It is aligned to the left, creating a nice straight line right down the left side. It feels clean and organized. It sends the subconscious message that this paragraph is structured and well thought out.

Sometimes you can take your left alignment and indent it so your entire piece is centered on the page, but still maintains that straight left edge. Now that's creative. It's also relatively easy to do in word processing programs such as Microsoft Word.

Next time it's your turn to make the office party announcement or create a typed event agenda, resist the urge to use center alignment. Get creative by using that nice, clean left edge. Make two columns! Indent that left edge a bit - or a lot! Indent the information you want to grab attention and leave the rest on the outer edge! In the end, you'll have a piece that's much more pleasing to the eye, and which truly shows your creativity.


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