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What You Need to Know About Using Alignment in Graphic Design

Want to get your message across and ensure you don’t confuse your readers? Use our guide on mastering the basics of text alignment.

Text is an invaluable tool for creating visual communications, especially those such as flyers and infographics. It’s easy and fun to let your imagination run with all of the typographical options available, but reading a design layout with poor alignment can be frustrating and unattractive to your readers. A confusing layout will detract from your message rather than unifying and highlighting it. We’ve detailed the common horizontal text alignment options and how to choose between them for your project.

The Importance of Alignment in Graphic Design

People’s eyes are naturally drawn to items of particular visual interest when they read a document, and then they scan the page from left to right and from top to bottom. Arrange text elements in a way that is visually logical and appealing to your readers. This creates balance in your document and also establishes a visual connection between the elements on your document.

Placing Horizontal Text

If you’re using text on a document you’ll be dealing with horizontal placement. When it comes to horizontal text alignment there are four common types – flush left, flush right, center, and justified.

  • Flush left – One of the most common forms of text alignment, flush left positions the text against a hard left-hand margin with a soft right edge. This alignment type follows the natural flow of language and the eye’s gaze. It’s an easy choice for any large text blocks in your design layout.
What You Need to Know About Using Alignment in Graphic Design — Flush Left
  • Flush right – The opposite of flush left alignment, flush right alignment positions the type in your document to the right. This form makes large blocks of text difficult to read, but it can be useful for highlighting certain portions of type and for giving elements of your design a unique look.
What You Need to Know About Using Alignment in Graphic Design — Flush Right
  • Center – This form of alignment anchors your content down the middle of your design and is a good choice for headlines. Centering your text creates a symmetrical and organized look, but having all of your text centered may take away from the visual interest of your document. It can also be difficult to read large chunks of copy that are centered.
What You Need to Know About Using Alignment in Graphic Design — Centered Text
  • Justified – Use justified text alignment if you’re looking to create a clean shape on the page. This form creates even left and right margins on your copy and is ideal for creating a neat, organized look when working with multiple columns of text. However, sometimes unattractive gaps will appear in your content when using justified text.
What You Need to Know About Using Alignment in Graphic Design — Justified Text

Arbitrarily placing elements on your document detracts from its visual appeal as well as your message. By applying these general principles of text alignment you’ll bring your design layout together to emphasize your message.

Design with Your Audience in Mind

Create the impact you’re looking for with content placement and text alignment. You can use text alignment as well as different font types, sizes, and colors to get your message across to readers. Shutterstock makes it easy for you to combine your text and other elements with beautiful images.

Top Image by Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko.

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