40—Direct people’s gaze

Once you’ve made them look, it’s time to direct the person to what’s important. What is the graphic about in-depth? Why should people care? What action do you want people to take?

To learn more about the proper order of things, read my ebook on creating a landing page from scratch (it’s over in the sidebar). It covers the AIDA formula—attention, interest, desire, action—which is used of most really effective advertising.

For us though, we want to look at ways to graphically lead people.

First and foremost, people’s eyes like to travel from top left to bottom right (at least in language communities who read that way—English speakers among them). So without any design, you know where people’s eyes will end up.

The best way to direct people’s gaze comes from paying attention to hierarchy. We’ve covered hierarchy a bit before, but what’s important here is to create a visual flow through your document, with the main description (the headline) grabbing attention, leading directly to the fuller description, before adding some more details (where, when, etc.), and arriving finally at the call to action (what do you want them to do).

Looking again at one of my most recent posters, you’ll see that I created a complicated background and placed simple elements onto it. The elements, which hold all the real content, overlap each other and lead your eyes to the call to action (register.)


Try creating a story with your graphics through layout, type, and color.

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