Module 2:

Developing content

Designing clear written information

The design of your material is critical to getting your message across. Your information must be presented in a way that is visually engaging and appropriate for your audience.

Here are some clear design tips to help you prepare print information.

Leave a lot of white or blank space to break up dense text

  • use good-sized page margins
  • use bulleted lists
  • add space between paragraphs
  • leave more space above a heading then below so the heading looks connected to the text that it’s describing
  • aim for short lines

Vary your approach, and include graphics and images

  • use various ways to present your material, such as charts and decision trees, questions and answers, and short case studies and examples
  • use photos, illustrations, or cartoons to make your information more visually appealing
  • pick images that reflect your audience in terms of race, culture, age, gender, and ability
  • use flowcharts to show how a process works step by step

Many of these principles also apply to preparing online information. You’ll find more information about tips specific to online information in the next section of this module, “Presenting clear and effective online content” .

You’ll also find more clear design tips for print in CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook, pages 47-50.

You can also download a PDF version of this information, a checklist about the information, or the whole module.