Effective Body Copy Design – Graphic Design & Marketing (Part 2)

Effective Body Copy Design – Graphic Design & Marketing (Part 2)

effective body copy design graphic design and marketingPeople in graphic design and marketing know that body copy is a major design element in any piece, print or web. Since your body copy makes up most of your document, wouldn’t you prefer to get it right? Don’t give your readers too much credit… you will want to make it as easy as possible for them to get from start to finish.

Here are a few more tips on how to make your copy both attractive and effective…

Graphic Design And Marketing Body Copy

Break it up a little bit.

1. Use columns. The longer your lines are, the more exhausted your reader will get. Studies have shown that when people are reading longer lines, they have a harder time completing the article. Their eyes grow tired and they have a difficult time getting from one line to the next without accidentally re-reading the same line or skipping a line. If you have a whole page to fill, think about breaking your body copy into columns. Also, when you stand back, columns can be more visually appealing because they make the page seem more approachable.

2. Avoid giant blocks of text. For a lot of readers, heavy blocks of text seem like a big investment. Think about breaking up your body copy with pull quotes and pictures. Sometimes a lot of text is unavoidable… so maybe think about making your document a page or four longer and adding some more graphics. Try some drop caps. Adding headers and sub headers strategically can really help your case. Even crafting your text to become a table or a list of bullet points will help break up the monotony and keep your page from looking like copied and pasted Loriem Ipsum.

3. Use bolded statements. You flatter yourself if you think most readers are actually going to slug through all twelve pages of your overview brochure. When you are formatting body copy, your readers should be able to go through your document, read ONLY the bolded statements, and be able to glean the message. Stay away from isolated, bolded words. They don’t mean anything to anyone. Try bolding short, key sentences that convey your message. There is no magic formula for how many bold sentences you should have in your body copy… but again, if you need a hard and fast rule, think maybe one every other paragraph for longer, dense documents.

4. Keep your copy tidy. That means avoid single words on the last line of your page (widows). Worse: a single word at the top of the next column (orphans). Avoid big jumps like you see in the newspaper (continued on page 6) because ¾ of readers who come across a jump will not read the rest of the article. In short, don’t make the reader work too hard to get the message… they are doing you a favor by reading what you have to say. At least make it easy for them.

Want to learn more?

If you would like to read more of our tips for good body copy, read our blog post about it. We would love to hear more of your ideas about how to make body copy look more professional. If you want a take on your materials, drop us a line. We are happy to help in any way we can.

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Carolyn Byard