When I went to college, I was a writer. I edited a magazine, wrote a newspaper column on occasion, studied English, won a journalism award.
But there’s one thing I didn’t pick up very well.
What is it?
How to place words on a page. How to size a nicely written headline. Not just what information should be, but what it should look like.
I actually did some of this in college. I did the “layout” and “design” for my collegiate magazine, stumbling around with Photoshop and InDesign but what I was impressed by was so basic and ridiculous.
It took me forever just to get a couple of horizon lines on the page, to decide where the text boxes should go.
I didn’t have any instruction or guidance.
I treated it more as art than design That was a mistake.
The designers at my job like to use a Saul Bass quote that goes like this:
“Design is thinking made visual.”
I’ve taken a few classes since, and there’s always the “how-to” on the internet, but adding that ability when I was focused on studying would’ve been great.
If you’re a young writer in school, think about adding web or information design to your repertoire.
It will help you think differently.