Designed for Success: Disguising Cutbacks
3. Attract attention by display type.
Make headlines longer, so the reader senses the promised benefits in the story below. Make the content’s value irresistible at that first glance, so more words are needed. Who said headlines must be short? The fewer the stories, the more important it is to sell the utility of those you have.
4. Create recognizable character.
Use a single typeface for all your display (headlines, subheads, decks and captions). That’s the easiest way to create a product that has consistency and unity, and therefore looks bigger and richer, despite reductions. The smaller you are, the better it is to simplify, simplify, simplify.
5. Exploiting visual/verbal sound bites.
Write enthusiasm-generating captions because they don’t just describe the subject of the picture, but bring out its inherent fascination. Make them as long as they need to be, and set them in larger type so they can’t be missed. If possible, avoid dropping out or surprinting on the picture itself.
6. Invest in infographics.
Not only are infographics a fast means of transmitting information, but they are also noticeable if you run them large enough and enrich the appearance of your product. Don’t just use them as primitive pie-chart illustrations of statistics, but use them to transmit what the implications of the facts are (just like longer headlines transmit the benefits within the story).
7. Expose abundance by numbering.
I preach this all the time, but for a good reason. People love lists, especially numbered ones. Showing off all the good stuff with great, big, pretty numerals focuses attention on the service you are providing. When you announce on your cover the 10 new ways to beat cancer, readers won’t even notice that you are no longer shiny or perfect-bound.
8. Overcome show-through.
Thinner paper cries poverty more obviously than anything else. Reduce the ugly curse of transparency by careful manipulation of the edges of pictures: Align them precisely wherever one picture backs up to another on the other side of the page. Make them deliberately equal in size, shape and placement. (Yes, that demands extra thinking.) Stick carefully to your grid, if you have one, but if all you work with is standard columns and the gutters between them, then stick to them. If columns back up accurately, then there is no show-through to worry about—and your bonus is a neater product.