A critique of: “Elements of Effective Layout,” by Dorothy Cohen
Marketing, a strategy to attract a person’s attention to a visual element, is part of today’s commercially based economy. In Dorothy Cohen’s Elements of Effective Layout, the author illustrates her principle argument through means of persuasion focuses on how a given layout can indeed attract attention and how the dominant requisites of an effective marketing layout are, in fact, balance, movement, proportion, simplicity and clarity, unity and emphasis. Within the text, a segment focusing on unity and how it is an important element of attracting attention, Cohen argues: “A border surrounding an ad provides a method of achieving unity. Sets of borders may occur within an ad, and, when they are similar in thickness and tone they provide a sense of unity.” Here, the author debates about how the graphic requisites of attraction in advertising are crucial in order to spark interest to a viewer. This process is best defined when describing the unity requisite of graphic layout by Cohen when she describes the similarities in ‘thickness’ and ‘tone’ providing a strong sense of unity.
The author begins by describing the balance requisite and how an advertisement can rely on how ‘visual weight’ is distributed within its ‘landscape’. In this first section of the article mathematical terms are used to illicit a sense of visual and spatial concepts, for example the ‘fulcrum’ or balancing point. In a secondary section, proportion is emphasized in regards to aesthetic layout in a graphic representation to best describe the size of an element in regards to the rest of the image/picture/advertisement. More specifically, it is demonstrated that non-proportional images use the proportion of a layout to fortify a particular theme or underlying message. In a third section, the movement aspect of graphic layout is explained as a sequence which enables directional flow in order to direct the interpreter into a coherent...
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