A few days ago as I was web-surfing I came across an article about a local politician. It was an editorial in a local newspaper. I started reading it, but became so irritated by the lay-out I could not finish it. The paragraphs were broken down literally into individual sentences. I imagine it was simply a result of taking the article how it was laid-out in the newspaper and pasted into the website post. Print newspapers are laid-out in narrow columns, and often have paragraphs composed of one or two sentences. It’s not a problem in this format as the eye does not have to travel very far to continue reading. A webpage is a different animal. If there is a hard return after every sentence, my eye has to travel much further to continue reading. This causes eye-fatigue and is very irritating.
This was a good reminder to me of the importance of how copy is presented. Obviously what is written, and how it is written is crucial to the success of any print or digital communication. After all the hard work and editing of an article, why would you want to make it difficult for your audience to read it? Factors to consider include the typeface, number of columns, spacing between lines of copy. This is how a graphic designer can make a huge difference to just about any piece of communication. A graphic designer works with readability, or the ease with which text can be read and understood. If a lay-out is done properly it is invisible and the content shines through. If done poorly you may not be fully communicating as your audience loses patience and might not even know why.