The Write Stuff
Spring 2007 Volume 3 Issue 2
Looks Matter…Writing for the Eye
While it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, a cover that’s attractive is going to encourage more readers to actually open its pages. The same can be said for business writing; how your writing looks is going to have an effect on its readability, and thus, its power.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you write various types of business communications:
- Keep your paragraphs short. Readers are put off by long blocks of text. If you find yourself going on and on in the same paragraph, take at look at where you can break it into two.
- Employ bullets as necessary. Looks like I’m practicing what I preach! I’m a huge proponent of using bullet points; when you add bolded headings (as I have), it makes reading even easier…and that is always your goal.
- Remember that space is your friend. Don’t feel the need to cram as much copy as you can onto a page, whether it’s to be printed or on a website. As any designer will tell you, white space is an element unto itself.
- Keep to simple fonts. With all the choices available, it can be tempting to try out “funky” fonts once in a while. If you can’t contain yourself, limit your experimentation to personal correspondence. Leave it to a graphic designer to add an element of creativity to your communications vehicles when that’s required.
These suggestions apply to all business communications, even e-mails. You want to set a positive tone with readers, and that is done both by using words and by ensuring the way they’re presented is pleasing to the eye.
I hope your spring has gotten off to a wonderful start. Remember that if you need writing or editing support, I’m always ready to spring into action for you!