Alignment is a highly prized element of design.


Alignment refers to the positioning of elements. For example, texts can be left- center- or right-justified. Text columns, tables, or pictures can line up equally. Captions can be anchored next to images.

Principles of Design

In this example from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site note the careful alignment of information. Three aligned images create interest at the top of the page, all carefully aligned. Below these pictures, green bars are used to separate the main page into categories of information: Current Initiatives, Key Issues, and Top Stories. To the left, using contrasting colors, the button bar presents major hyperlinks, while the right column provide links toCurrent Topics.

Principles of Design

In Why Open Source? note the use of the level 2 heading, the left-justified text beneath the header, and then the alignment indent again for subpoint 1. As you might guess, the writer uses this left-alignment scheme throughout the document.