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Northwestern University

Rules

Rules are a simple way to add structure to a page, to divide content, or to connect content.

Weight

Even though rules look rather simplistic, applying them thoughtfully can elevate a design. One easy method is to use a common weight throughout an entire piece of collateral. Another is to make sure the weights match another design element in a layout, for example, the weight of text.

NOTE: For standard print pieces (approx. 8.5”x11”), rule weight should most commonly be set to 1 or 2 points and should not exceed 5 points. This rule of thumb can be scaled up proportionally for larger pieces.

Dashed Rules

Dashed rules are a great way to show progress charted, or to differentiate some pathways from others. A common ratio for the dashes and gaps should be used as the rules are scaled up or down. At 1 point, dashes should measure 12 points and gaps should measure 7 points. At 2 points, dashes should measure 24 points and gaps should measure 14 points, and so on.

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