Make Your Ad More Readable

We writers love words. But oh, how hard it is to sometimes pare them down.

There is, after all, often much to say about a good product or service. But to make your ad readable:

  1. Limit your message to one or two strong points.
  2. Be  accurate and truthful. Readers will disdain your company if they discover you've misled them.
  3. Make the headline do the heavy lifting. Only about five percent of viewers will read your copy—but 30% will read your headline. You can even try grouping the two together.
  4. Make your typeface readable.  Use serif typefaces and avoid reversed type that can be hard to read.

In the ad below, the body copy is too long and too hard to read. Not only is the small copy hard to read in sans serif, but the contrast between the background and text is too low.

Conversely, this ad by

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

uses readable body copy. The serif copy is black on a cream background for optimum contrast—and the pairing of the graphic image with the typeface strengthens the message.