Tips on Designing Brochures and Other Outreach Materials for Family Home Visiting Program

July, 2002

1. Readability at Grade 6 level. (Refer to the following website for assistance with readability of your document)

a) Two syllabi words
b) Simple sentences (1 verb, 1 noun etc.)

Readability Hints
Decision Headings/Titles Body Text Captions
Font * Sans Serif ** Serif Serif or Sans Serif

Subheading-Minimum of 2 pts. larger than body text

Heading – Minimum of 2 pts. larger than subheading text

9 – 12 pt. If serif, 2 pts. larger or 1 pt. smallerIf sans serif, same as body text
Weight Bold Regular Bold

** Serif – A typeface with a fine line finishing off the mainstrokes of a letter (example: Times New Roman font)
* Sans Serif – a typeface without serifs or fine lines finishing off the mainstrokes of a letter ( example: Arial font )

2. Headings & Titles (.33 – 7 seconds to look at and decide to read)

a) Short, no more that 2-4 words
b) Use action words (free.., fun.., help.., support..)

3. Short Body Text (15 seconds to read)

a) 5 Ws, then details, then background

i. Who
ii. What
iii. Where
iv. When
v. Why

b) Start with 5 Ws, then details & background, so when you need to edit, you’ll always end up with the 5 Ws.

4. Captions

a) Be specific versus general

5. Photographs

a) Need caption
b) Try arrows (>) to connect captions to photo on the right or top.
c) People read from right to left

6. Non-photographic Art

a) Use graphs if giving facts
b) Use black and white if faxing and/or photocopying

7. Graphic Devices

a) Readers prefer more graphics & less words
b) Use graphics to move reader around the page
c) Tie graphic message to text
d) Consider captions with graphics

8. Number/Outlines

a) Numbers or letters (good to use in headlines)
b) Number lists when you want the reader to follow in text

9. Achieving Balance

a) Anything in the upper left quadrant of your brochure is more noticeable that anything located anywhere else
b) Large items are noticed more, seen for a longer time & remembered better than small items (like large lettering)
c) Elements that are dark/bold are seen better than elements that are light
d) Color is more pleasing than black and white
e) White space draws the reader to the “non-empty” space
f) Rectangles are “usual” shapes. Every other shape is more noticeable (squares, triangles, ovals, circles, elliptical shapes, cubes, etc.)
g) Shaded areas are more noticeable than non-shaded areas on the brochure

10. Proof

a) Testimonials/Family Feedback statements are helpful

11. Feedback

a) Ask a couple of families that have received home visits or ask friends and
relatives with young children to take a look at your brochure and give feedback. Ask if the brochure sparks enough interest in them to call for a visit.