4 Common Mistakes When Using Line in Design

Becky Kilimnik

Lines can be a powerful tool in your design arsenal, but with great power comes great responsibility. Understanding what lines signify can help you avoid the following mistakes:

Line Mistake #1:
Putting a line under a headline

Lines signify separation, so putting a line under a headline signifies to the viewer that the headline is separate from any content that follows. Not cool if your headline actually goes with the content below it. Instead of putting a line under a headline, use carefully considered negative space instead.

Line Mistake #2:
Underlining text that is not linked

In our internet-based culture, we’ve come to associate underlined text with hyperlinks. Therefore, you should only underline text that is actually a link. Underlining text merely for emphasis will confuse the viewer and could lead them to believe your content’s functionality is broken.

Line Mistake #3:
Using lines haphazardly as design elements

Lines should not be used merely for filler to balance your design. Remember, lines have significance, and viewers are looking for meaning in your design. If you find yourself putting a line in your design without a reason you can easily articulate, consider finding another solution instead. Consider using pattern, illustration, or rearranging your content altogether.

Line Mistake #4:
Putting heavy lines behind your data

Lines clutter. Heavy lines in charts, graphs, and tables only serve to obscure data. Remember, we visualize data to be able to get those “aha!” moments that are not apparent from looking at numbers alone. So get those heavy lines out of the way and let your data shine.



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Rebecca Rule Kilimnik | © 2017 | kilimnik.com