We all want to look professional in our communications, whether they’re in print or digital format. Discerning audiences appreciate the effort that goes into well-crafted messages and presentations that keep the user in mind.

Here’s a quick guide to ensure that your messages are well-received and understood by your audience.

Font frenzy = bad

The best rule of thumb most often is to pick a font and stick with it, preferably one that’s easy to read. Georgia (serif) and Helvetica (sans serif) are solid choices. Most script fonts should only be used for formal invitations and, even then, readability needs to be the top consideration.

Avoid a capital offense

Nothing says “amateur hour” more than capitalizing words that shouldn’t be. Random capitalizations are confusing and look unprofessional. Don’t get caught in this easily avoided trap.

Stay stylish

Find a style (Associated Press, Chicago Manual of Style, one you make up, etc.) and stick to it. Consistency is the key, and having an established style keeps your team on the same page.

Proof, proof, proof

Finding a misspelled word before an item is printed or posted is a good catch. Discovering one after a mailer has gone out or when a blog has been posted for several days is a blow to your reputation. Don’t forget to read and re-read your copy.

Forget gimmickry

There’s a fine line between eye-catching and revolting. That drop shadow on your large display text might seem like a good idea but it also could distract the reader. That shade of red you want to use could be a little intense. (Check out our blog on the proper use of color.) Lots of underlined words and exclamation points also can have the opposite effect you intended.

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format to website development. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.