Design Dos and Don’ts: Peter Cocking Guest Lecturer

Improving the visual appeal of your blog can make the difference between an enjoyable reader experience, and an uncomfortable ordeal. Today Peter Cocking was our guest lecturer, and these are some of his suggestions on how to optimize your blog’s visual appeal.

Cocking’s main suggestion was this: The way you visually design your blog will determine how readers to interact with your blog. What are you trying to achieve? The entire design and style of your blog should assist you in communicating your message.

  • Be aware of typography size, weight, colour and simplicity. The eye craves minimalistic, easy to read text with lots of contrast.
  • Leading set at 1.5x the size of your font.
  • Use a carefully selected sanserif font. On screen, serif fonts can be harder on the eyes.
  • Use spacing wisely, and be mindful of what your spacing communicates to your readers, and what would improve readability.
  • Don’t use a lot of grey scale, instead focus on sharp contrast (of text, in theme).
  • Avoid long line lengths, and reduce the characters per line. Encouraging a good amount of white space around text helps the eye keep its place on the page.
  • Don’t use centered headings with asymmetrical (left-centered) blog posts.
  • Don’t mix serif and sanserif fonts, choose one. Be consistent on the page.
  • Don’t let your sidebars steal too much attention. Direct your readers eyes to the content you want them to pay attention to.



Peter Cocking is a creative design consultant, and teaches at Emily Carr as a professor of Art and Design. He specializes in publication design and typography.

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