Avoid These Design Mistakes

by admin on June 20, 2010

Avoid the following when putting together your marketing material. If you have someone else put it together for you, run their piece through this checklist also.

#1    Avoid using all capital letters.
All capital letters will get more attention, but slow down the reading speed of the person and thus their comprehension. It doesn’t give a natural flow to your marketing piece. If you want to emphasize a certain word or a group of words, italicize them or bold them. In your headline or subhead, you can use a bigger typeface than the rest of the body text. You might just capitalize the first letters of each word.

#2    Avoid filling up all the space you have to work with.
If you cram too much information into a given space, it is difficult to read and the reader might lose interest. White space can be an effective design tool that will draw the reader to specific information that you wish to emphasize. However, don’t confuse this with an advertising rep when designing a space ad that says, “Let’s use a lot of space here and there.”

You do want to make effective use of your space in telling your story and listing benefits, but you don’t want to pack it together so closely and tightly that when a prospect looks at it, the eyestrain is so bad they don’t want to read it. There is a balance to achieve.

#3    Avoid too much reversed type text where the background is black and letters white. You might use it sparingly to emphasize one idea here and there. Usually, it can be used to draw attention to a particular item. If it’s used for too many things, it loses its effect and nothing will jump off the page.

#4    Avoid using more than 2 typefaces (3 maximum).
Too many typefaces will cause confusion and slow the reader down. Two will draw attention to different pieces. Maybe one typeface for headings and subheadings, and one for the body text. That’s usually all you need.

These two typefaces should have some contrast. The body text is usually in a “Serif” type font and the headline and subheads are in a “Sans Serif” type. A common type of font used is a Courier font and a Times New Roman.

#5    Avoid having white space wasted.
Wasted white space occurs when there is a hole created somewhere in your layout that is not really part of your design. A white hole of space which has other elements all around it really differs from using white space in a good way and it will draw attention to itself instead of to a headline or a picture or body text available.

#6    Avoid over-using boxes and ruler lines.
Too many boxes and ruler lines result in a very busy design that confuses the reader and reduces readability. Understand that when you put together a marketing piece, you want to have readability. You might be thinking that you’re emphasizing and making all this information look important and relevant, but you are in fact confusing the reader and they will say, a “It’s not worth my time to read.” It has the same effect as reverse type.

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