How to Convey Authority in Design

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

Communicate authority with your design in a way that matches your words with these tips. You could compile hours of research and data collection into a groundbreaking post, but if it's in yellow text on a red background using Comic Sans on a page adorned with fire GIFs, no one will take you seriously. This is because poor design choices hinder the authority of your content. There are real, subtle changes you can make to your design to convey authority. These can be grouped into design choices dealing with color, lines, and typography. Use these tips to communicate authority with your design in a way that matches your words:

Trust the Blues

The colors you use on your website, logo, and other design elements provides a wealth of psychological cues to your reader. Red gets people excited while blue conveys calm and trust. Skyje has a great list of common colors and their psychology you can use to get started with your color selections. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses use color to their benefit and you should do the same with your design. Think about how you want your customers to respond to your design and select colors that will nudge them in that direction.

Vertical Lines

SmashBrand has a great article detailing all the ways that lines can be used to drive home the point of your design. When you're trying to convey authority, you want to stick with vertical lines that seem to extend to the heavens. This evokes a sense of connection with a higher power, truth and virility. Think about the Washington Monument - a free-standing pillar on a hill. These symbols of power and authority stretch back throughout history and they are still relevant to modern design.


The font you choose can be even more important than your words. Take the best lines crafted by Shakespeare and present them using Comic Sans or Gill Sans Light Shadowed. They loose their appeal. The font you choose has an impact on the authority your words convey. Three of the most popular options: Baskerville, Computer Modern, or Rockwell. Getting the right words on the page is only half the battle. You need design that matches the level of authority you're trying to convey. Colors, lines, and typography provide subtle cues to the reader. These elements can enhance your content or detract from it, so it's important to make the right design choices when you want your words to convey authority. Photo Credit: spablab via Flickr.

Power your marketing with great writing.

Get Started