News Paper Design Layout

1372 Words Feb 25th, 2012 6 Pages
3 Newspaper Design Layouts: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern
Several layout patterns are often recommended to take advantage of how people scan or read through a design. 3 of the more common are the Gutenberg diagram, the z-pattern layout, and the f-pattern layout.

Each offers advice for where to place important information, but I think these patterns are often misunderstood and followed without thought to what they really describe.
I want to walk through the what and why of each pattern and then offer something else that gives you as a designer more control over where your viewer’s eye moves across your design.

The Gutenberg Diagram

The Gutenberg diagram describes a general pattern the eyes move through when looking
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Designs that follow Gutenberg are said to be in harmony with natural reading gravity.
The claim is these designs improve reading rhythm, by being in harmony with the natural reading rhythm, as well as improving reading comprehension, but there’s little empirical evidence to support the claim.
Again Gutenberg describes large blocks of text with little typographic hierarchy. As soon as you create a visual hierarchy the diagram no longer applies. Keep this in mind with the other patterns described below.
Z-Pattern Layout

As you would expect the z-pattern layout follows the shape of the letter z. Readers will start in the top/left, move horizontally to the top/right and then diagonally to the bottom/right before finishing with another horizontal movement to the bottom/right.
The z-pattern is sometimes called a reverse-s-pattern, which might indicate more of a curved path as opposed to the hard angled path. Otherwise they’re basically the same thing.
The main difference with the Gutenberg diagram is that the z-pattern suggests viewers will pass through the two fallow areas. Otherwise they still start and end in the same places and still pass through the middle.
As with Gutenberg a designer would place the most important information along the pattern’s path.
The z-pattern is good for simple designs with a few key elements that need to be seen. Any storytelling aspect of the design would follow the path of the z.
Zig-Zag Pattern

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