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Graphic Design Principles – Part Two – Alignment

Alignment refers to text placement and other design elements on a page, so they visually are lined up. Doing so organizes the design as well as creates order and visual connectivity. The elements are therefore made more readable for the viewer.

Here are some of the basic concepts of alignment:


Horizontal Alignment

Where the margins are equal on both the left and the right. Depending on the project, this can be consistent on the entire visual or just in specific sections. Text can then be made into columns to carry out this specific alignment example.

Vertical Alignment

This is dependent on the positioning of the text whether it is on the top or bottom. Either way the text is lined up within the margins of the design.

Edge Alignment

Where the edges of the top, bottom or sides are lined up with each other. This allows for the design to carry across to the text elements or other features.


Center Alignment

Whether it is centered on the entirety of the design, the central axis is the point of alignment for all of the elements.

Visual/ Optical Alignment

Mostly used with rounded elements such as circular shapes or large curly text. In such alignment, the placement of elements is based on measurements. To the eye, it may appear misaligned, however, it is just due to the design of that project.


Creative elements can also elevate to what’s called “breaking alignment”. It creates a focal point, yet uses precise measurements. All the alignment types featured in this post do allow for creative elements. Depending on your alignment choice, these elements can suit the needs of the project to make it look and feel more important.

-Kevin Jose