Skip to main content

CH Accountancy
CH Accountancy

01245 791164 |

Improve Message Communication in your Marketing (Using Type)

By Gail Hoban of Design Studio 22 

Typography is more than just picking a font and a point size from a drop-down menus on your computer.Gail Hoban

Most small business owners, managing some of our own marketing materials and internal documents could also use a few tips on how to make type look better in newsletters, leaflets or event posters.

1. Choosing Type - Match the Tone of Voice to the Message

If you have a favourite typeface that you use every chance you get, or you think one typeface looks more or less like the next, you may not be getting the most impact out of your choices.

All typefaces have their own mood or personality. Maybe it’s friendly, elaborate, serious, frivolous, classic, contemporary. Most typefaces won’t work for every use, so you’ll need to decide what a particular font communicates to both you, and your potential audience and whether that fits with your message. A good way to do that is to brainstorm some of the qualities or characteristics that you want your piece to communicate.

When each typeface speaks differently, it influences our reaction to a message we’re reading, a good typeface fit can make the message more effective and persuasive, reinforcing the content; whereas a contradicting choice can cause unease and turn off an audience.

Top Design Agency Pentagram, created this tongue in cheek psychologist’s assessment of ‘What Type are you?’

2. Create a Hierarchy – Prioritise your Message

Type hierarchy is particularly important for text-heavy designs such as newsletters, magazines, books, and other traditional print publications, as well as some websites.

When a design has good hierarchy, it becomes easy to navigate, and simple to access the information you need. You can guide your viewer

To set up an effective hierarchy in your marketing pieces:

  • Use text size to prioritize information by importance – bigger being more important
  • Use style of text alongside size – bolder for more important, italic to differentiate
  • Use sufficient spacing (both line space and space around) to create an easy-to-scan structure
  • Group related information items together for example date, time and venue
  • Segment into clear sections (with headings, subheadings, etc.) where relevant

3. Consider Spacing and Alignment

Tiny details can make (or destroy) a layout. Spacing and alignment can make the difference between a clean, orderly design and a confusing, cluttered one.

Line-spacing: Also called, leading by designers, this is the vertical space between lines of text. Too spaced or too close, in either direction can make for hard-to-scan text and a design that feels awkward.

Margins: This is the clear space around the edges of your design. Unless you’re creating a specific, intentional effect, you don’t want your text looking like it’s going to fall off the page (or screen). A generous amount of clear space around the edges makes for more comfortable reading. It can also avoid the danger of being cropped off at print finishing.

White Space: This is the term used to refer to any blank/white/empty spaces in your design. When you have a lot of information to fit in, white space may seem like wasted space, but it keeps viewers moving visually through a design directing their eyes to a focal point.

Alignment: consistency is the best way to improve your typography. Mixing centred text alignment styles with left or right alignment causes tension in the layout. Also avoid justified alignment. It often creates irregular spacing and random chunks of white space that look sloppy and make reading difficult – designers call these rivers as they run down through the columns. Choose one style for your body copy (my most used is left-aligned), and stick to it.

Gail is a design lecturer as well as running Design Studio 22, from a studio in a converted pottery in Quendon. She is also mum to two teenagers and two tortoiseshells.

Gail Hoban

Design Studio 22

Contact 01799 543087 or

Return to index