Basics: Layout

Layout is how we arrange elements on the canvas. This can also be referred to as composition. With a good understanding of layout, you can guide your viewer's eye and tell stories effectively.

It serves a few important purposes:
  • Let's the viewer know where to look, what to focus on.
  • Allows the viewer to 'read' the work in the right way (top to bottom, left to right).
Consider the videos below when you begin creating your own layouts.


  • Real-world studies:
    • Create a collection of your favorite posters and images on Pinterest or on your computer.
    • Go through the images and study where you look as you take it in. Study how the elements in the image are arranged to allow you to read.
    • Look at billboards outside.
      • How are they designed to allow someone to read quickly?
      • How do they compare in different areas of town?
      • Why do you think it's different?
  • Take photos with your phone, demonstrating the use of Rule of Thirds, leading lines and more concepts you've learned.