Word processing and desktop publishing packages allow our team at Pel Hughes to create eye catching content. While we have the software to produce professional and attention-grabbing print materials, it’s our fine-tuned experience that really impresses our clients.
Aside from producing quality copy and the great design on your print materials, the next biggest hurdle is ensuring that the copy is readable. Many DIY marketers make common readability faux paus on printed materials that can look unprofessional, busy, and amateurish.
Great flyers, direct mail, and brochures need an organized structure and layout with a clear typeface for optimal readability. Below we will provide some of our tried-and-true tips for developing great print materials for optimal readability.
Keep typography simple
Selecting one font family for your entire printed piece makes it easier for the eye to decipher when glancing across the page. Choose a font that has many different weights, sizes, and styles to use for headings, quotations, or to emphasize a particular section. Build variety playing with these variables instead of switching between multiple font families. Popular font families are Serif (which includes Times Roman) and Sans-Serif (which includes Helvetica) for producing crisp, clean, readable copy.
Consistency will lend authority to the look of your piece and will become part of your branding for that particular item. Therefore, be sure that all of the headers look the same, including size and font type. The same goes for sub-headers and pull-quotes. This helps readers digest your materials because the content is clearly organized for their comprehension.
Use upper and lower case
Using standard upper and lower case letters make the wording easier for people to read. This format is also what readers are familiar with and expect to see. While you can use all capital letters for emphasis in rare cases, it is not a good idea for regular print. All capital letters for a block of text is cumbersome on the eyes. Moreover, there is a negative connotation with copy that is all capital letters as people find it aggressive and unprofessional.
Keep lines short and add white space
People tend to read three to four words per eye movement. It’s a good rule of thumb not to have your reader make more than two eye movements per line, so limit your lines to six to eight words. Space is always a concern with printed materials so it’s important to develop concise copy to make reading as easy as possible for your potential customers. Flyers, billboards, and posters will work best with short, bulleted points and plenty of white space. Using adequate white space increases readability by helping your eyes focus on the content.
Serifs are the little, extra strokes or flourishes at the end of the main strokes of a letter. They flow well from one letter to the next, reducing eye fatigue. Like the rest of our bodies, our eyes get tired when they have to do a lot of heavy lifting. Long printed documents such as books or sizable reports are easier to read when serif type fonts are used.
If you’re concerned with readability, contact Pel Hughes. Our team has vast experience working with businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries. We can help you develop compelling print pieces to win over customers and build your brand. Fill out a contact form or give us a call at (504) 486-8646.