The goal of the design is not to look good but to make people read

Readability: is your designer passionate about it?

Many designs look great.

But do we read the text?

Often not.

It happens when the graphic designer is not passionate about Readability, the art of making us read.

A designer who is passionate about Readability knows: the ultimate goal of the design is not to look good.

Sure, good looks are important. But they serve a purpose: to draw us into the text.

And that is a difficult job.

We all suffer from information overflow. We can‘t read everything. We’ll skip the best text in the world if the design doesn’t invite us to read.

What to do?

Little things make the difference.

The width of your text, for example. Keep the lines short for a comfortable reading experience.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works“. Steve Jobs

The choice of the typeface is super-important. Some fonts are playful but difficult to read.

Others are good for print but not for reading on a screen.

Dense text is a turn-off

Dense text is one of the biggest culprits for bad readability.

Test it yourself when you surf the web or the next time you open a magazine.

See how easily you turn-off if the spacing between lines is too small, if paragraphs are too long or if there is not enough white space around the text. White space is important because it helps your eyes to settle down.

You also have to strike the right balance when it comes to the size and choice of photos: they should draw the eye without distracting our attention away from the text.

That is the bottom line: every design element, from the headline to the photo and its caption, serves this one purpose – to make us read.

Look and ask

It sounds obvious, yet it’s scary how often the basic rules are broken.

The good news? These rules exist.

There is only one thing you need to make sure: that your designer knows and values them.

Look at his or her previous designs. Do they invite you to read?

And ask him or her about Readability.

Which are the tricks he or she uses to make people read?

How will she or he go about it for your project?

And talking about it, can you feel a passion?

If not, look for someone else.

About Carsten

Hi, I am Carsten Wendt. I help people make their writing more exciting. I am also a passionate public speaking coach and Humorous Public Speaking Champion of Belgium.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

André Douette February 25, 2016 at 9:12 am

looking forward to meeting you at the FAIB lunch debate of today

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