“In a magalog, copy is king, and I’m just here to help get people to read it,” proclaims designer Lori Haller, proprietor of Shadow Oak Studio, Germantown, Md. “I’ll throw in some exciting things to tease them, drag them along, pull them to the next page and the next page. Until I’ve made them want to read the whole thing, so that on the last page, they can’t wait to sign up. It’s a whole progression—like a rocket.” So what are some of the techniques that fuel her designs? Color, size, leading, bursts and bolding, to name just a few. Here, Haller shares a few of her magalog design edicts. Any or all of these ideas might be worth a test in your next effort.
* Use graphics and typography to let the reader know where to start reading on the page, especially if you have a lot of callouts and sidebars. Try an initial drop cap, a first paragraph with a wider leading, a Johnson Box, a first line in all caps, continued lines, or a graphic that repeats on all pages.
* Choose a font size that’s easy on the eyes. While it depends on the audience, the size of the page and the x-height of the font, in general Haller keeps her font size in a 13 to 15 point range. She also recommends a taller font rather than a squatter one, and, of course, serif.
* Indent only enough to break up the page and let readers see where a new paragraph starts.
* Make the leading between paragraphs wide enough so readers can take a breath, but not so wide that you lose their eye.
* Put something on the bottom of the right-hand page to make the reader turn the page. This can be as simple as a line that reads “over please” or a call-out that says, “Free Report! See the order form to learn more.”
* Place extra items like sidebars, pull quotes and callouts in colored fonts or boxes. But beware of using too many eye-catching techniques, as too much of a good thing tends to have the opposite effect.
* Within a paragraph, use bolding, italics, increased font size or color to draw attention to important words and phrases. But again, be careful not to overdo it.
Lori Haller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 528-0565.