Head of the
Giving Your Headlines
the Attention They Deserve
There is no easier way to capture
your readersí attention and draw them in than a great headline. An
organized newsletter is always a plusóand the simplest way to organize
text in a newsletter is the use of effective headlines. A great headline
will get your readerís attention and then help him decide if the article
is worth reading. In fact, headlines can be a make-or-break feature for
any newsletter. If you havenít spent much time thinking about your
headlines, now is the time to give your newsletter an added punch!
Weíve talked about how
to write the text of headlines in another article on this website.
Once you have the perfect headline for your article, youíll also need to
spend some time helping it to get the attention it deserves. Keep these
tips in mind when you are laying out your newsletter.
The type size of your headline should be significantly larger than the
text that follows. This seems self-evident, but it is worth the reminder.
The font would also benefit from being set in a bolder face and it is
usually a different font than the body text. However, if you would like to
use the same typeface, simply make it larger and bolder, and you will find
that the contrast is, in general, enough to draw the readerís eye to the
headline. A note of cautionómany people have a tendency to use too many
fonts in a publication. After all, you have so many to choose from, more
must be better and lots must be great, right? Usually wrong! Check out our
article on good use of fonts in Iím Just Your Type. And remember that
headlines should not be too long or too short. A long headline (more than
two lines) becomes too much for a reader to wade through and will take up
valuable space on your page. A very short headline will not have enough
information to draw in your reader.
Set It Off
Every headline benefits from proper use of white
space. Leave enough space around your headlines to give your
readerís eye a place to rest. If your headline is long and is feeling
cluttered, consider using subheads, set in a smaller font than the
headline, but still larger than the text of the body. Subheads are also a
great technique to use when you have a large article that follows. Break
the article up into logical sections and introduce each one with a
subhead. The more accessible you make your newsletter, the more likely
youíll have readers lingering long enough to read every word.
Mix It Up a Bit
We are used to seeing headlines up on top of articles. But the give some
visual variety, consider placing your headlines in a non-traditional
location. If you have room, try placing a headline to the side of the
article. This is also a great way to increase white space on your page.
Many people are also stuck on using all capitals in a headline. All
capitals are, as a rule, more difficult to read than type set in caps and
lower case letters. Again, your goals should be to draw your readers in
and to increase the readability of your newsletter. Try avoiding all caps
in your headlines and pay extra attention to the contrast provided by good
selection of fonts in your newsletter. Also avoid centering your
headlines. By placing your headlines flush left with the text of the body
of the article, your headline will draw the readerís eye to the first
line of text in the article.