The Creative Spark! – Title Pages that Smile

Are you smiling? Well, even if You’re not, your title page sure can?with some design love. A hot pink arc placed with upward edges can substitute for a smile any day. So, let’s get happy and design you a title page.

But why waste your time on crafting colorful cover pages? Because, my friend, the more artistic your cover pages, the more creative you become in all other dimensions. Do you love playing guitar? Acting? Woodworking? Scrapbooking? Dancing? Writing? Applying makeup? Well, if you nodded your head even once, then your skills in any of these areas are, yes, transferrable?even intellectually transferrable. So, the better you are at doing the cha-cha, the better you become at pounding your fist while screaming eureka over an existentialist chat.

How exactly is creativity transferrable, you ask? Well, let’s look at flow. Flow marks a vital feature in design. But doesn’t flow also work in music, dancing?and essay writing? Yes! Even exam writing gets fun when you do it with flow.

Shapes mark another transferrable part of design. Singing takes shapes: hollow, puckered, round. Dance moves replicate shapes: remember the 70’s band dancing the letters YMCA? Your essays take shapes too. And essay outlines can mold into shapes that break away from uniformity, taking on all kinds of crazy-brilliant structures. For instance, each subtopic in your essay can branch out in its own unique pattern of sub-subtopics, asides, solid evidence, opaque reasoning, triangular proofs, or circle-backs.

But remember, you first need to understand the rules to effectively break them, barring for beginner’s luck.

Jim Krause’s book Design Basics Index poses tips for design; I turn these tips into smiles on your prof’s face.

Connect images to type with imaginary straight lines. In other words, if you add an image of the famous thinker statue, then imagine a line extending horizontally where the statue’s elbow meets its lap. Put your title on that line. Or put your title on an imaginary line extending from where its fist meets its face.

Use grids. Grids give pleasing structure. But, break the rules for fun. In Microsoft Word, you can use columns or grids. Sadly, MS Word’s grids don’t readily have something called a gutter. No, I’m not referring to the gutter that showcased your Smarties box as the cement dried when you were a tot. Instead, I am referring to the thin space between columns: gutters.

So, use the MS Word’s columns feature instead as it gives you gutters.

But break the rules! Perhaps try extending an image beyond a column’s borders. To do this, first create a textbox. Then, insert an image inside the textbox. You see, textboxes can go wherever they please and the image will follow?like an unleashed Pitbull walking its owner.

But, only use multiple page columns for non-essay projects?and get the prof’s approval beforehand.

Make your image flow into the direction of your title page text. If you feature a picture of Plato running off the page, don’t place him running toward the left-hand side of the page if your text is on the right-hand side of him. That is, unless your title is, “Study Plato? Run in the opposite direction!”

In other words, have Plato running toward your text?unless you deliberately want to create tension.

Flow left-to-right to show fast, forward motion. Flow right-to-left to show slow, backward motion. If you are doing a paper on the de-evolution of Blackberry, use a left-facing image of a jogger holding a Blackberry: slow and backward. If you are doing a paper on the evolution of Apple iPhones, use a right-facing image: fast and forward.

Color can reinforce shapes and themes. So, explore MS Word Wingdings fonts. If you come across a picture of a heart, maybe color it blue to represent a broken heart. Or if you come across a picture of a hand signaling stop, color it red?or green for thematic tension.

So, what transferrable skills did you get after reading this article? Well, ideally, You’re now a better dancer, singer, woodworker?and student. Even your nail-art, tattoo, or nose jewel can make you gifted at extrapolating Plato. A paradox? I call it a creative spark!

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