Layering text and graphics is an easy way to liven up a page. If it's not text, it's a graphic. You can create simple graphics such as boxes, polygons, and circles using your program's drawing tools.
When you layer graphic elements together, one or more of them will require a screen, which will add gray tones to an otherwise black and white page. In the Freestone, for instance, we layered pull-quotes over star shapes. The graphic element added texture, while its 15% screen added contrast.
We wanted the layout for our pages about student travel to resemble a scrapbook, so we layered text, boxes, stars, and photographs. To view the pages, click on the icons below.
In the first example (page 18), the box was layered over the photographs and the star on top of the box. The text was added last. In the second example (page 19), the box on the right-hand side of the page was layered over the star, leaving most of it hidden from view.
The subject matter was light-hearted, and we wanted the layout to reflect this. We broke a few of the rules but tried to keep everything balanced. Remember our discussion of alignment?
The titles on pages 18 and 19 are aligned with each other but not with the photos and boxes. On page 19, the tall sidebar could have been aligned with the top of the photograph next to it.
Some designers might say that rotated photos create the "look what I can do" effect, but sometimes it's fun to try new things. Once you understand the rules of page design, it's occasionally safe to break away from them.