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Better Multimedia Design Through Visual Consistency

There are many different aspects of design that one must master to become a great designer, but one of the most important of all is the idea of visual consistency. Visual consistency is particularly important when designing media that will have multiple components.

In commercial art, (which is essentially what we as worship artists do) it's important to understand that design is about communication, not dazzling the viewer.

The effectiveness of any given design package can be greatly decreased when various aspects of design are inconsistent.

The ultimate goal is to bring order to what would otherwise be randomness through elements such as color, shape, typography, treatment, texture and composition.


How do we apply this to worship graphic design? An easy place is to start is with fonts. The general rule we follow is to pick no more than two for any given set. A fancier "headline" or "display" font, and an easier to read "body" or "copy" font.

Occasionally, you'll find a font that serves both purposes, and every now and then you'll use more than two, but as a general rule, two is best.

Be consistent with the way type is treated. Pick a point size and stick with it. This is very important when designing (yes designing) song lyrics.

If you've designed a certain treatment or placement for a theme/title, consider putting your points in the same place or at least make sure the treatment of the type is similar and consistent throughout.

Color and Treatment

Color can also help tie a series of images together. This can be very helpful when using photos from different sources. Making them all sepia tone, duo tone, black and white and so on can help make visuals more coherent as a whole.

Shapes and Frames

Shapes and frames can help tie image sets together. Consider creating borders, frames and other shapes that will bring image sets together. Keep in mind though that frames alone cannot take inconsistent visuals and make them feel consistent.

Consistent Package

Lastly, one of the things that's become a growing frustration among many artists is the visual inconsistency that we call the "hodgepodge approach."

One "mini-movie" will finish and the following visual will come up looking completely different in tone and lacking any connection visually at all. Following that, another clip might play with an entirely different feel, with additional unrelated graphics following.

A better approach would be to create a video and from that video create matching graphics and then possibly variations on that video.

During our seminars, we ask participants how they best learn. Time and time again, we consistently see that the overwhelming majority feel they learn best by visual means (as opposed to text or auditory means).

Visuals are extremely important, and if we want to maximize the effectiveness of our presentations, consistency is key.

This information is courtesy of Midnight Oil Productions, www.midnightoilproductions.com.

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