After studying basic design principles for the last few weeks, I’ve come to realize what principles I appreciate the most in good design work for webinars and other educational materials.
CARP is an acronym for the four basic principles of design–Contrast, Alignment, Repetition, and Proximity.
I remember going to an exhibit on psychedelic concert posters from the 60’s and 70’s at the Denver Art Museum about six or seven years ago. The use of all these elements were so extreme that they screamed at people to look at and examine them. While those types of extremes may not be useful in most contexts, they are an excellent way to illustrate basic principles, mostly through adherence, but sometimes deviance.
CARP principles help engage and captivate an audience. Design work that is artfully done can create interest in something that might have otherwise not caught someone’s attention.
The same rings true in designs for education, webinars, websites, etc… Design is about captivating, engaging, inspiring, and growing your audience.
I believe that contrast and repetition are the most important components to consider when designing visual materials for webinars. Repetition keeps a theme alive throughout a presentation. Repetition also gives the presenter his/her own style, a type of signature.
Contrast can be used to separate ideas, themes, and text. Contrast can also be used to draw people’s attention to a particular piece of information that you want them to take away from a slide. It can be used to assign, or signify, importance. Good use of contrast is an artful skill, that many people do not have, making it somewhat objective and fun.