The white surface of the paper is taken to be ‘empty,’

an inactive surface,

despite visible structures that are present.

With the first appearance of a dot,

a line,

                        ADRIAN FRUTIGER
                                     illustrator, teacher, type and graphic designer, typographer

the empty surface is activated.


The blank page is dull, meaningless, and static, yet full of potential. To the designer, it is an empty canvas used to create meaning. Color, form, image, space, and typography collaborate to convey an intended message. When the designer activates the page through the placement of the visual elements, he or she needs an ordering system to help the viewer make sense of the design. The ordering system, or hierarchy, ...

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