April 15, 2020 5 min read Opinions revealed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Purchase it now from Amazon | Barnes & & Noble Design plays a crucial function in the success of your material. Long prior to they read your words, readers will begin evaluating the value of your material by its appearance.

Here, according to desktop style expert Roger C. Parker, are 10 of the most common graphic style errors and how to avoid them:

1. Overuse of Color

The overuse of color does an injustice to readers who print white papers on inkjet printers. Prevent solid-colored backgrounds behind the text. Such pages can cost numerous dollars each in ink products. In addition, bright colors can develop diversions that make nearby text tough to read. Lastly, text embeded in color is often harder to read than black text against a plain white background.

2. Missing Page Numbers

Many white documents do not have page numbers. However readers depend on page numbers to track their development through a publication. They also depend on page numbers to refer back to formerly check out details.

3. Long Lines of Type

Many white documents are difficult to read because the text extends in an unbroken line throughout the page, from the left-hand margin to the right-hand margin. Long lines of type are tough and tiresome to read. In addition, the resulting left and right margins are really narrow. White area along the edges of pages supplies a resting spot for readers’ eyes and stresses the nearby text.

4. Unsuitable Typeface

There are three main categories of font style: ornamental, serif, and sans serif.

  1. Ornamental fonts like Constantia or Broadway are heavily stylized and fantastic for attracting attention or projecting an atmosphere or image. Using these typefaces ought to be limited to logo designs and product packaging, however, where image is more important than readability.
  2. Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Garamond are ideal for prolonged reading. The serifs, or finishing strokes at the edges of each character, aid define the distinct shape of each letter and lead the reader’s eyes from letter to letter.
  3. Sans serif fonts like Arial and Verdana are extremely legible. Their tidy, simple style helps readers acknowledge words from a long distance away, which is why they are used for highway signage. Sans serif typefaces are frequently used for headlines and subheads combined with serif body copy.

5. Incorrect Type Size

When type is set too big, at 14 points, for instance, you can’t fit enough words on each line for readers to comfortably skim the text. Conversely, the details that help readers identify each character end up being lost when type is set too little. Type set too small also needs too many left-to-right eye movements on each line, which triggers eye stress with time. The most readable and popular type size is 12 points.

6. Difficult-to-Read Headlines

Headings ought to form a strong contrast with the text they introduce. Readers need to have no trouble locating or reading them. And never ever set headlines totally in all capital letters– it makes them harder to read than headlines set in a combination of uppercase and lowercase type.

7. Failure to Chunk Content

Chunking describes making text easier to read by breaking it into manageable, bite-size pieces. The very best method to piece material is to place regular subheads throughout the text. Subheads convert skimmers into readers by “advertising” the text that follows. Each subhead therefore provides an entry point into the text. They likewise prevent the visual monotony developed by page after page of nearly similar paragraphs.

8. Poor Subhead Format

To work, subheads should form a strong visual contrast with the text. It’s not enough to simply italicize the subhead text. They should be visibly larger and/or bolder than the surrounding body copy. Never ever underline subheads to “make them more visible.” Underlining makes them harder to read because it disrupts the descenders– the portions of lowercase letters like g, p, and y that extend listed below the unnoticeable line the subheads rest on. Limit subheads to a couple of crucial words, and avoid using complete sentences. Subheads work best when restricted to a single line.

9. Sidetracking Headers, borders, and footers

Headers and footers refer to text or graphic accents duplicated at the top or bottom of each page. Page numbers, copyright info, and the publisher’s address should be smaller and less noticeable than the main text. Large, colored logos on each page can also be really distracting, without adding meaningful information.

As for borders, pages are typically boxed, with lines of equal thickness at the top, bottom, and sides. Boxed pages forecast a conservative, old-fashioned look. A more modern image can be produced utilizing guidelines, or lines, of various thickness at simply the top and bottom of each page.

10. Orphans and widows

Widows and orphans occur when a word, a part of a word, or a partial line of text is separated at the bottom of a page or column (an orphan) or at the top of the next page or column (a widow). The worst-case circumstance happens when a subhead appears by itself at the bottom of a page, separated from the paragraph it introduces, which appears at the top of the next page. Some software allows you to automatically “lock” subheads to the text they introduce– make certain you utilize this function.

When someone downloads a white paper from you, within seconds they will either feel a glow of satisfaction or a sense of disappointment. Readers take a look at the cover and glimpse at the text, and then either say, “Aw, simply another hard-to-read, look-alike white paper” or “Wow! This looks really terrific!” Whether your white paper gets the attention it paves the way and deserves for future sales or (worst-case situation) is instantly deleted or round-filed depends to a great level on its style.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.