By Jen Wheeler, CCC, Sr. Graphic Designer, NRECA, Arlington, Va.

NRECA’s Creative Services team helps to produce visually interesting and captivating materials for your co-op audiences. But there is more to a great design than impressive typography, colorful graphics and stunning photography. A message makes the most impact when its carefully crafted, using both visuals and words to strike a harmonious balance.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then your audience probably won’t need another 2,000 words of copy to get the point. When writing your message, it’s important to get your point across while emembering: LESS IS MORE. And that goes for design too. I mean, who doesn’t love a little white space?

Here are a few tips to help you craft meaningful copy:

  1. CUT the FAT – Can your message be said in fewer words without losing its meaning? People have short attention spans, so deliver your message as succinctly as possible. We often underestimate our audiences and give them more details than they need.

  2. Consider your medium – Are you making a web ad, a poster for the break room or a 10-page report? Tailor your message for the channel in which its being presented, the amount of time your audience will spend with it, and the amount of space you have to work with. You can’t put 10 gallons of water in a five-gallon bucket, and you can’t fit 100 words on a button ad.

  3. What’s the ACTION? – What are you trying to get people to do? Don’t beat around the bush. Make the action or takeaway obvious to the reader. Write with purpose!

HEIARCHY and FOCAL POINT are also important factors to consider. Can you see the difference in these examples?

Want more tips to help you cut down your copy? Check out this blog.

For an outline of a few basic design principles check out this article.