Making Documents Easier to Read

Maximize contrast between the typography and the background.

Reason: a greater amount of contrast makes it easier to distinguish an image. This is especially true for the contrast in
color between text and paper.

As for type size: yes, older readers prefer large type. But type style also matters. Avoid ornate typefaces and overuse of italics. Choose a serif type.

A bit more spacing between lines also enhances readability. Avoid extensive use of ALL CAPS and type reversing out of a solid or screen.

Indenting paragraphs and use of standard capitalization improve reading, as do smaller blocks of copy, shorter lines of type, and more paragraphs.

Source: Writing That Works, 1/9/08

*This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter, located at

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