The communications department can assist you from the idea stage to the printed piece. We will help you create your piece, choose paper, help with photos, and work with a printer.
If you decide to produce a publication yourself, it is still in your best interest to consult with the communications office in the planning stages. In discussing your project, you may learn some tips that will save you frustration and money.
Regardless of the manner in which your publications are produced, all materials prepared for external distribution as well as any item with the DeSales University logo.
Printed items, brochures, and other publications that do not meet DeSales University standards will be redone at the expense of the department that created them.
Keep the following in mind when designing a document for publication.
For a professional look, simple designs are best.
Choose a few elements and use them consistently. This will help you achieve a cleaner, more readable look.
Working with Text
When selecting type, two fonts should be sufficient—one for your body text and one for headlines. More than two can clutter the page, making it look amateurish and difficult to read.
Use bold and italics for emphasis and variation.
For body copy, use of the typeface Bembo when possible. But, Times New Roman is a good substitute.
Both are a serif fonts (they have short lines extending from the body of the letters). Serif fonts are recommended because they are easier to read in print. Sans serif (without the short lines) are best used in headlines or in pullout quotes.
Body type should usually be between 9 and 12 points. With an older audience, the type size should be 11 or 12 point. Size should be consistent throughout the document. Avoid the temptation to use a smaller point size to squeeze in a paragraph at the end of a page. Doing so can make the document look unprofessional.
Establish a hierarchy for your headlines so that all of the same level heads are in the same point size. Consistency in headings makes the piece easier to read and helps to convey important points. The spacing above and below the headings, as well as the captions and artwork, should be the same throughout the document. When a heading falls at the bottom of a column or page, be sure to include at least two lines of text with the heading. Otherwise, move the heading to the next column or page.
Certain type elements should be used sparingly— all caps, reversed type, italics, underlining, and boldface. These elements should be used for emphasis only. Too much underlining or too much boldface causes the eye to see the underline or the boldface but not the rest of the text. Better to edit or rewrite for stronger text. Let the words carry the message.
Use visual devices sparingly. Lists and bullets are helpful for highlighting information; be careful of overusing other dingbats, typographical symbols, or ornaments. These, too, can clutter a page. One strong image is more effective than many little icons.
Type that is angled, put in irregularly shaped blocks, or broken across an illustration is difficult to read. Because people read from left to right, any divergence from that pattern immediately sets up a visual roadblock. Optimum column width is approximately three inches. For ease of reading, text should be set in columns with sufficient space between the columns. Two, three, and four columns are standard.
Use only one space after punctuation, not two as people used to with a typewriter. Also avoid widows. A widow is a word or syllable isolated at the bottom of a column or paragraph or at the top of a column. Usually, these can be corrected through editing. A ragged right margin will give you better word spacing and fewer hyphens. A rule of thumb is no more than three hyphens in a row at the end of a line.
Do not rely on spell check for proofreading. Spell check will not pick up incorrect usage. For example, it will not distinguish between the words to and two—the words can be spelled correctly but may be used incorrectly in the context of the brochure.
Balance and proportion are the keys to page layout. It is important to consider the overall look of the page and its relationship to the opposite page.
- A page with solid type looks gray.
- Use subheadings to break it up.
- Vary the sentence length and keep the paragraphs short.
- Use white space to give the eye somewhere to rest.
Boxes, borders, and rules create visual interest when used in moderation. But keep it simple.
- A single rule box is preferable to a more complex one. A hairline rule between type columns also may work.
- A color printed behind the text can add emphasis, but be careful not to sacrifice readability.
- If there is a lot of type, use a screen value of no more than 10 or 20 percent.
Clip art offers graphic possibilities, but make sure it is appropriate to the publication and the font. Cutesy clip art makes the piece and, by extension, the program or subject described in the publication look less professional.