Five tips for effective print documents

October 01, 2012 Liz Todd

You create print documents for a reason: to convey a message to people who have an interest in the topic of your document. There are a few things that you can do to help readers get to the point of your document.

Plan the placement of information

Don’t leave it to chance! Divide the page into areas for the headline, the main body text and secondary information (contact details, customer testimonials, etc). Secondary information can be grouped at the right side or bottom of the main body text.

Choose the right fonts

Make sure that the fonts you choose reflect the tone of the document. Keep to just two font families in the same document and make sure that those fonts are not too similar.

Add some contrast

Contrast applies to size and weight of the text in your document. Use large fonts for headlines and other text that you want to grab the reader’s attention. Increase the weight of keywords and subheadings by applying bold.

Create some natural lines

You don’t need to actually draw a line to create a line in the document. Instead, use alignment option like Left and Right to make natural lines in the document. By the way, centring text does the opposite of creating natural lines and can actually weaken the look of your document.

Use space

White space – the part of your document without text or graphics – is one of the most important tools that you have. Use space to group items together, to give the reader’s eye a place to rest and to draw attention to particular words or graphics. Don’t be afraid to reduce the number words that you use in order to add more space!

Remember that your readers are bombarded with print documents every day. The techniques in this article will help make your document stand out from the rest. The result will be an increase in the number of people reading and acting on your document’s message.


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