Recent Posts

Our Newest Web Project Launches

Aug 21—We are happy to announce the birth of our newest baby - a brand new website for Warkwyn Associates. Who? Warkwyn is an accomplished audio design and engineering firm. We are sharing this news with...Read More

Look Like Who You Really Are

Jul 30— Do you look like who you are? This question is not an “if a tree falls in the woods” Zen kind of question. What we are really asking is: "Do your graphics and other marketing...Read More

Redefining the word Customer

Jul 01—We recently attended the InfoComm trade show in Las Vegas and came away thinking about the meaning of the word “customer” and the way one’s definition influences a brand’s marketing...Read More

Point Of Sale Displays that Sell Product

Jun 17—You are already using the Internet, social networks and traditional media to reach the customer with your brand story. But if you’re not telling your unique brand and product story at bricks and...Read More

What do your customers think of you

Jun 03—A special guest blog by Wendy Price Some of you may say, “I already know what they think.”  Others of you might say, “I’ll just ask my sales people and account managers...Read More

Ten Print Advertising Tips

May 22—In our last blog we made a compelling case that print advertising is relevant and valuable even in this digital age. Now we turn our attention to a handful of basic techniques for making your print advertising...Read More

The Value of Print Advertising

May 07—We almost always include print advertising in our clients’ marketing and media plans. Sometimes we get the reaction “Print? Really? We hear that print is dead.”  There is no...Read More

Making Text More Readable

Apr 15—Words. Every marketer needs them. Sometimes you need a lot of words to get your sales message across. (In our imaginations) our readers hunger to fully understand the marketing techniques we...Read More

Retail Reality-Product Demos-and You

Apr 02—Remember when owning a decent stereo was a major life goal and when shopping in a hi-fi store was fun? We are unapologetically nostalgic for the days when retailers actively sold A/V products; when the...Read More

Ma Mark Marketing or the Importance of Email Subject Lines

Mar 19—Regular readers of the CE Marketing Prose newsletter may have noticed oddities in our last two emails. The February 19 edition went out with the subject line “Mark” in place of “Marketing...Read More

How to Stay out of the Trashcan or the Lessons Learned from a Parking Lot

Mar 04—Marketers of CE products should count themselves lucky. We have it easy; we’re selling fun stuff – toys that help people enjoy great music and entertaining movies and TV programming. But just...Read More

Five Ways to Make Time for Customer Outreach

Feb 19—“Time keeps everything from happening all at once." - Henri Bergson  If you’ve read our website or spoken with us about marketing you know that we’re absolutely rabid...Read More

Brands that Communicate Win

Feb 05—The most successful brands regularly keep in touch and stay top of mind with their customers (end-users and channel partners) via blogs, newsletters and social media. With the advent of new Google search...Read More

Content is Definitely King since Google Changed Search Algorithms

Jan 28—The word “algorithm” is the equivalent of Ambien – it puts most people right to sleep. So it is miraculous that we actually read the news about Google’s newest search engine algorithms...Read More

How Pawn Takes Queen

Jan 20—We would like all of our readers to believe we are the source of all marketing wisdom and insight.  While that is largely true, sometimes we stumble upon someone who has written an article that perfectly...Read More

Should High-End CE Companies Bother with Social Media

Dec 11—On several occasions clients have asked us whether it was worth their time and effort to participate in social media outreach. The tone in which the question was asked told us that the answer they wanted...Read More

Rants from the Frozen Tundra

Nov 25—A friend of ours from the land of baby seals* was inspired by our blog Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good  to send us a couple of rants regarding Big Mistakes he sees CE manufacturers consistently...Read More

Flying Without Navigation

Nov 13—Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the research bomb* Imagine you are on a jumbo jet for a 15-1/2 hour flight from LA to Australia. Just after takeoff the pilot announces, “Ladies and...Read More

Coal into Diamonds - Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good

Oct 26—We often advise our clients to allow consumers to post reviews on the company website. From the looks of horror on their faces you would think we had proposed offing Granny for the insurance money....Read More

Direct to Consumer Sales and Channel Stress

Oct 14—One of the many services we offer our clients is helping develop direct-to-consumer sales programs for their websites and email communications. When we’ve mentioned that option to some potential...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Three

Oct 02—In our previous two blog posts we wrote about eight of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One and Part Two you might want to...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Two

Sep 17—In our last blog post we wrote about four of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One you might want to do that now...................Done? ...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part One

Aug 28— It should be unnecessary to say it in this day and age but just for the record – Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don't believe it? When you're...Read More

Apr 15

Making Text More Readable

Words. Every marketer needs them. Sometimes you need a lot of words to get your sales message across. (In our imaginations) our readers hunger to fully understand the marketing techniques we advocate in our blogs. Sometimes it takes lots of words; so we worry about readability. And so should you.

But here’s the rub – attention spans are short, people are increasingly reading web sites and documents on tiny screens, and the population is getting older with diminished eyesight. To top it off, most people read 25% slower online than in print.

Recognizing that, we have turned over a new leaf. Beginning right now the font configurations used on this blog are different than what we have used in the past. We are practicing what we are about to preach.

Some Practical Suggestions

There are several things you can do to make your written communications more readable for everyone. Best of all, they’re free.

1.  Ditch the reverse type.

Black backgrounds may look sexy but they force you to use white type and that is hard to read and causes eye strain. Reverse is fine for headlines but bad for body copy. Let’s try an experiment. Here are two blocks of copy, one in reverse and another in obverse. Which one would you rather read?

We would argue that your existing and past customers are among your most valuable assets. Yes, right up there with your inventory, technologies and employees. These are people who have plunked down hard earned money to  buy from you
We would argue that your existing and past customers are among your most valuable assets. Yes, right up there with your inventory, technologies and employees. These are people who have plunked down hard earned money to buy from you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The same goes for low contrast background/text combinations. Would you enjoy reading this block of text?

We would argue that your existing and past customers are among your most valuable assets. Yes, right up there with your inventory, technologies and employees. These are people who have plunked down hard earned money to buy from you

 

2. Choose fonts carefully.

The general rule of thumb is to use serif fonts in print and sans serif fonts online. Serif fonts have little “flourishes” or flares at the terminal points of letters, sans serif are undecorated.

Arvo is serif.  

Roboto is sans serif. 

Graphic designers tend to favor san serif even in print. But most graphic designers don’t care about readability. It is more important to them that the words look pretty on the page than be readable. Be on the alert for that attitude and stand your ground on readability.

But serif or no, within each group there are readable and not so readable fonts and executions of those fonts. For digital media Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Lucida Sans and Trebuchet are traditionally good choices (we use Trebuchet for our newsletter body copy). For print, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman and Palatino are good choices.

3. Use Italics sparingly.

Italic type is required for publication titles and may come in handy to emphasize a word or two, but large blocks of it will remain unread. We often see italics used for image captions. A better bet is to differentiate caption text with color.

4. Spacing is critical.

Text with tight line spacing is harder to read than well-spaced text.

We would argue that your existing and past customers are among your most valuable assets. Yes, right up there with your inventory, technologies and employees. These are people who have plunked down hard earned money to buy from you.

We would argue that your existing and past customers are among your most valuable assets. Yes, right up there with your inventory, technologies and employees. These are people who have plunked down hard earned money to buy from you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Size Matters.

Tiny type may look fashionable but most people will find it hard to read on-screen. Extra large text will be too big for mobile devices, too small will make desktop/laptop users squint. Talk to your web developer about using “percentage” or “em” code that scales fonts appropriately for the reader's display size. But if you can’t do that, 16pt is a very legible size making it ideal for online newsletters, blogs, technical data and similar dense text. 

You work hard to communicate your products’ or services’ benefits to your readers with text. With a little design care you can improve the odds that someone will actually read it.

 

About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace. 

WE KNOW CE.

 

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