The benefits of ranking

design elements

and their influence


When it comes to marketing, there are often selected parts of your promotional content that you want to stand out more than the rest. It’s at this point that you may ask your designer to do one of the following to certain words, phrases or paragraphs:

Use a different text colour

Increase the text size

Use a different font

Capitalise or italicise letters or words

Indent paragraphs

Insert bullet points

Create infographics

Without clearly defining what the important things actually are you'll keep going round and round in circles making things prominent, only to then want other areas beefing up as well.

Of course, for headlines, introductory sentences or the occasional word, this works well. But what happens when a client wants everything to stand out? Or worse still, they haven’t clearly defined what the important things actually are and keep going round and round in circles making things prominent, only to then want other areas beefing up as well.

Here are some classic phrases we’ve heard in the past:

“Let’s bold the first three bullet points so they stand out above the others.”

“Can we use caps, so it draws extra attention?”

“What if we used red in the background to make it really pop?”


Not everything can be important. Not everything in your marketing collateral can have the same prominence. If it did, the results would be awful. And the information would be impossible to read, understand and act upon easily.

Remember the job of your designer is to effortlessly guide the reader through your content from heading, introduction, main messaging and benefits to the call to action. So don’t make their job difficult, decide before they start work what is of most important and any secondary information and then let them get on with creating a logical, visual hierarchy.

Logical hierarchy

If you are working from top of the page to the bottom, we think that if you follow our principles below and start simply, your layout will work hardest for you, getting you’re the results that you need.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules, but the general idea is that if you blur your eyes or quickly scan the layout you should be able to quickly identify all the different types of content without reading it.

Generally, the main headline is the biggest thing on the page/screen. That doesn't mean it has to be bold, as long as it is legible. In this instance a light or thin font can work well.

The other headings need to stand out from the main 'body' text, so maybe bolder, and/or larger. They should never be larger than the main headline though.

The call to action needs to grab attention. It's normally larger than the body text, given more space, and perhaps bold or italic

Captions and footnotes are often smaller and less prominent

Quotes, testimonials and facts/figures can be given more space, use a larger font and are generally separated from the main layout

Supplementary information should be separated from the main content – perhaps by putting it in a box to one side.

Use plenty of white space to give your layout balance, flow, and focus.

Keep it simple, follow the guidance above, and make sure you establish a clear heirarchy of content, and you won't go far wrong.

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