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ROGER C. PARK ER’S

design to sell

White paper design that sells 16 easy-to-implement best practices The design of your white papers play a major role in their success. White paper readership is never guaranteed—no matter how well they are written. Design can easily get between your words and your prospects. Design pre-sells the importance of your words and sets your white paper apart from others. Design also determines readability—the measure of how easy it is to read your white paper. White paper writers must use design to convert a prospect’s initial curiosity into extended reading.

Readers in a hurry Prospects are always in a hurry. If your white paper doesn’t present a pleasurable reading experience, puts up obstacles to easy reading, your prospects—and your client’s prospects—are likely to put your white paper down or press Acrobat’s “close” button.

About the author Roger C. Parker has introduced millions of readers to graphic design since 1985. His books, newsletters, and training resources include Looking Good in Print and Design to Sell.

The Magic of Reading The design techniques described below are based on extensive research into the psychology of reading, as described in The Magic of Reading, by Bill Hill. Bill studied over 12,000 pages of books, articles and research papers. His research indicates there are no “readers;” there are only “recognizers.” Reading is based on serial pattern recognition. Rather than “sounding out” individual letters, readers scan groups of words and their brains translate word shapes into meaning. This happens instantaneously, over and over again. Serial pattern recognition has major implications for white paper design.



Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

1999, Microsoft Corporation.

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design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

Margins and columns The difference that a 2-column layout adds to white papers is shown by the illustrations below.

Layout The layout, or placement of text and graphics on each page, of your white paper, plays a major role in its image and readability. Here are some layout tips that prepare the foundation for the success of your white paper.

design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

Layout The layout, or placement of text and graphics on each page, of your white paper, plays a major role in its image and readability. Here are some layout tips that prepare the foundation for the success of your white paper.

1. Provide generous margins White space along the top, bottom, and sides of each page helps create “open,” attractive pages. Generous margins project an inviting, easy-to-read image that invites readership. Margins also provide space for reader to hold your white paper while reading it, without hiding any of the text or graphics. The “default,” or “automatic,” margins created by most software programs when you open new documents are often too narrow. To address this problem, use your program’s “page setup,” or “document set-up,” commands to increase the margins, adding extra white space along the edges of each page.

. Choose a -column layout Long lines of type extending from the left-hand to the right-hand margins create white papers that project a dull, hard to read, image. A better alternative is to base your white papers on a 2-column design. Use a narrow column to the left and a wider column to the right. This adds visual interest to each page and focuses your prospect’s eyes on the text to the right. A 2-column layout also reduces the line length of your body copy, so your readers’ eyes don’t have to make as many left-to-right “jumps” across each line of text. Shorter lines also means that there will be less chance that readers will get lost making the transition from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. “Doubling” occurs when prospects inadvertently reread the same line. Place graphics, short text elements, and quotations, in the narrow, left-hand column, as I’ve done in the publication you’re reading.

Type Type plays a major role in determining the image your white paper projects to prospects. The typefaces you choose, and the way you format them, plays a crucial role in determining your white paper’s readability.

3. Choose an easy-to-read typeface Start by choosing a serif typeface, like Times New Roman or Garamond, for the body copy your white paper. Serif typefaces are significantly easier to read than sans-serif designs like Arial or Helvetica.

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Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

www.designtosellonline.com

1. Provide generous margins White space along the top, bottom, and sides of each page helps create “open,” attractive pages. Generous margins project an inviting, easy-to-read image that invites readership. Margins also provide space for readers to hold your white paper while reading it, without hiding any of the text or graphics. The “default,” or “automatic,” margins created by most software programs when you open new documents are often too narrow. To address this problem, use your program’s “page setup,” or “document set-up,” commands to increase the margins, adding extra white space along the edges of each page.

A single column of type extending the full width of each page creates a boring, hard-to-read white paper.

design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

Layout The layout, or placement of text and graphics on each page, of your white paper, plays a major role in its image and readability. Here are some layout tips that prepare the foundation for the success of your white paper.

1. Provide generous margins White space along the top, bottom, and sides of each page helps create “open,” attractive pages. Generous margins project an inviting, easy-to-read image that invites readership. Margins also provide space for reader to hold your white paper while reading it, without hiding any of the text or graphics. The “default,” or “automatic,” margins created by most software programs when you open new documents are often too narrow. To address this problem, use your program’s “page setup,” or “document set-up,” commands to increase the margins, adding extra white space along the edges of each page.

. Choose a -column layout Long lines of type extending from the left-hand to the right-hand margins create white papers that project a dull, hard to read, image. A better alternative is to base your white papers on a 2-column design. Use a narrow column to the left and a wider column to the right. This adds visual interest to each page and focuses your prospect’s eyes on the text to the right. A 2-column layout also reduces the line length of your body copy, so your readers’ eyes don’t have to make as many left-to-right “jumps” across each line of text. Shorter lines also means that there will be less chance that readers will get lost making the transition from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. “Doubling” occurs when prospects inadvertently reread the same line. Place graphics, short text elements, and quotations, in the narrow, left-hand column, as I’ve done in the publication you’re reading.

2. Choose a 2-column layout Long lines of type extending from the left-hand to the right-hand margins create white papers that project a dull, hard to read, image. A better alternative is to base your white papers on a 2-column design. Use a narrow column to the left and a wider column to the right. This adds visual interest to each page and focuses your prospect’s eyes on the text to the right. A 2-column layout also reduces the line length of your body copy, so your readers’ eyes don’t have to make as many left-to-right “jumps” across each line of text. Shorter lines also mean that there will be less chance that readers will get lost making the transition from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. “Doubling” occurs when prospects inadvertently reread the same line. Place graphics, short text elements, and quotations, in the narrow, left-hand column, as I’ve done in the publication you’re reading.

Type Type plays a major role in determining the image your white paper projects to prospects. The typefaces you choose, and the way you format them, plays a crucial role in determining your white paper’s readability.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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A 2-column layout is more attractive, makes reading easier, and creates space for placing additional text or graphics.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

Type Type plays a major role in determining the image your white paper projects to prospects. The typefaces you choose, and the way you format them, plays a crucial role in determining your white paper’s readability.

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design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

Serif vs. sans serif type

and

Serif typefaces, like Adobe

Minion, above, used in this report have tiny strokes which help readers recognize each character and which lead the reader’s eyes from left to right.

and

Sans serif typefaces, like Frutiger, above, also used in this report lack these distinguishing strokes and have simpler shapes.

3. Choose an easy-to-read typeface Start by choosing a serif typeface, like Times New Roman or Garamond, for the body copy of your white paper. Serif typefaces are significantly easier to read than sans-serif designs like Arial or Helvetica. Serifs are the tiny decorative strokes added to the characters. (Sans-serif designs lack these strokes). Serifs contribute to easy reading by helping prospects recognize the distinct shapes of the characters that make up each word. Serifs also lead your prospects’ eyes from character to character and word-to-word. Research has proven that serif typeface designs are easier to read than sans serif designs, even though many feel that sans serif designs project a more “contemporary” or “high tech” image.

4. Use type to visually “brand” your white paper There’s a world of type beyond familiar serif typefaces like Times New Roman. Different designs help you set your white papers apart from the competition. Explore alternative serif typeface designs like Garamond, Century Schoolbook, Palatino, or Minion (used for the body copy you’re reading). There are numerous online sources where you can purchase different typeface designs. When choosing type, however, avoid typefaces with exaggerated characteristics. What may look “interesting” to you in a short sample may prove to be difficult for your prospects to read in extended doses. Stick to the designs which have been successfully used for years. These include Garamond, Century Schoolbook, Minion, Palatino, and Utopia.

Choosing the right type size Two similar typefaces, Adobe Garamond and Adobe Utopia, set the same size can appear dramatically different, as shown below.

ageage

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

5. Choose the right type size Avoid setting body copy type too large or too small. Either extreme slows readers down and can cause them to put your white paper down. Type set too large slows down readers because it interferes with their rhythmic, left-to-right, eye scans. Type set too small causes squinting and eye strain. Begin by examining your software program’s default, or automatic, “normal” or “body text” type size. Type is measured in points. There are about 72 points per inch. The default type size is often wrong for the line length you’re using. Choose type size based on the typeface you’re using and the column width (or line length).

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White Paper Design that Sells

Determine the right type size for your white paper’s body copy by trial and error. Set a typical paragraph in several different type sizes. See which combination is easiest to read. Experiment with half-point differences in type size. Sometimes, 11 point type is too small, 12 points is too large, but 11.5 points is perfect!

TYPE

The above example, set entirely in upper case type, is hard to read because it lacks a distinguishing shape.

type This example, set the same size, is easier to read, because the t, y, and p create a shape your eye and brain recognize because they’ve encountered it before.

6. Choose the right type case and style Never set headlines or sentences entirely in upper case type, i.e., “capital letters.” Words set entirely in upper case type are significantly harder to read than words set in lower case type. Words set in upper case also occupy more space. Readers recognize words by their distinct shapes, created by the different characters used in each word. Some words contain characters with elements that extend upwards. Other words contain characters with elements that extend downward. Words set entirely in upper case type, however lack distinguishing shapes. Their shapes are rectangles with do not provide clues for serial pattern recognition. In addition, use restraint with style options like bold, italics, and bold-italics. These styles are appropriate for occasional use, but lose their impact when overused. Because the characters are less familiar than regular, or Roman, type, these options also slow down your readers’ scanning rate.

7. Adjust line and paragraph spacing Although often neglected, line spacing is as important to white paper image and readability as type size. Your software program’s default line spacing is a compromise measurement based on the “average” line length and an “average” typeface. Explore different settings using your software program’s line spacing, or “leading,” command. As you increase line spacing, notice how readability increases. The additional line spacing frames each line with white space, isolating each line, making it easier to recognize word shapes. The additional line spacing also helps guide your prospects’ eyes from left to right. In this document, for example, I have used significantly more line spacing than the software program’s default spacing. But, notice that I did not use double line spacing. Too much line spacing interferes with easy reading by making it harder to transition from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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White Paper Design that Sells

Typical white paper information hierarchy  Title  Section heads  Subheads

Paragraph spacing is equally important. Never press the Enter key twice at the end of a paragraph, in order to insert extra space between paragraphs. This creates too much space between paragraphs. Instead, use your software program’s “space after” command to add paragraph spacing equal in height to approximately 1 1/2 lines of text.

 Body copy  Captions  Headers and footers  Footnotes

Bold versus Black Compare the Bold version of

8. Create an obvious visual hierarchy Most prospects will quickly scan your white paper before committing to read it. If nothing catches their eye, they’ll find something else to read. To attract their attention, your white paper must communicate at a glance. Important text, like headlines and subheads, should be larger and more noticeable than supporting information, like body copy and captions.

version on the next line.

Likewise, information in headers and footers—titles, copyright information, and page numbers placed at the tops and bottoms of each page—should not compete with the body copy. Headlines and subheads should be distinctly larger than body copy.

Subhead Subhead

Create a visual hierarchy by using contrasting typeface designs. Try combining sans serif typefaces for headlines and body copy with serif typefaces for body copy. The noticeable differences in typeface design will help your prospects immediately recognize each element of white paper architecture.

Frutiger, top, with the Black

You can emphasize headlines and subheads by using the black, heavy, or ultra black versions that come with many sans serif designs. These have more of a presence on the page. You can also set subheads in color. Draw attention to subheads by adding extra space above the subheads. The extra space creates a visual barrier that emphasizes the introduction of a new topic.

Graphics Graphics— illustrations, photographs, and tables—enhance the appearance and communicating power of your white paper. Words, alone, may fail to keep your prospect’s attention and fully communicate your white paper’s story.

9. Use graphics to communicate at a glance A cycle graphic communicates information in a simpler and more memorable way than words in a paragraph.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

Whenever possible, communicate with graphics instead of words in sentences and paragraphs. Graphics communicate at a glance. Graphics can both communicate and dramatize.

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White Paper Design that Sells

Choose the type of information graphics based on the interpretation you want to provide. Options include:

Text wrap example Before & after &Profitable

Published

Write Your Way to Success

ute audio, video, and printed files around the world at virtually no cost. Equally important, the Internet makes it feasible for individuals to promote their book online to readers and reviewers around the world.

The power of commitment

„Digital print-on-demand. Until recently, book publishing was limited by economies of scale. The cost of printing books rapidly declined as the number of books printed increased. Authors had to print thousands of copies before they sold their first copy. Now, however, books can be printed as they are sold! This eliminates the need for major up-front investment and the possibility of garages filled with unsold books.

…the moment one definitely commitments oneself, then providence moves, too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. 1

Getting started The secret to becoming profitably published is to follow a system, or process, that breaks what should be done into a series of tasks, each of which—by itself— is easily accomplished.

Step 1: Planning Planning is crucial. Without careful planning, even the ideas and best-written books are unlikely to succeed. Planning involves answering questions like the following before you move forward.

 Pie charts communicate part/whole relationships  Bar graphs display comparisons  Line charts show changes over time  Organization charts display hierarchy and responsibility  Tables help readers compare details  Photographs communicate literally

What are your goals and expectations? Why are you interested in writing a book? How will your book contribute to your success? Is there a market for your

 Illustrations allow you to be selective in what you display

book? Who will buy it? Why should they buy it? What are the characteristics of your market? What’s your book about? What problems will your book help readers solve?

What will set it apart from the competition? 1

William Hutchison Murray’s, The

Scottish Himalayan Expedition As quoted in Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big Life: Making Room

Which publishing alternative makes the most sense? What are the pros and cons of the alternatives available? What’s required? What can you expect from literary agents and publishers? What do agents

 Timelines display events in context

and publishers want from you? How do you locate and approach them?

for What Really Matters, 2007.

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Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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The text wrap created when a graphic is placed in a column of text creates disorganized pages and interrupts the readers’ rhythmic left to right scans.

 Cycles display sequence Lists provide you with an opportunity to add visual interest to your pages while communicating more effectively. Use bullets to indicate random information order. Use numbers to emphasize importance or sequence. Add titles explaining the relevance of your graphics. Use additional captions for details and to reinforce the graphic’s message or intended interpretation.

10. Avoid text wraps &Profitable

Published

Write Your Way to Success

ute audio, video, and printed files around the world at virtually no cost. Equally important, the Internet makes it feasible for individuals to promote their book online to readers and reviewers around the world.

The power of commitment

„Digital print-on-demand. Until recently, book publishing was limited by economies of scale. The cost of printing books rapidly declined as the number of books printed increased. Authors had to print thousands of copies before they sold their first copy. Now, however, books can be printed as they are sold! This eliminates the need for major up-front investment and the possibility of garages filled with unsold books.

…the moment one definitely commitments oneself, then providence moves, too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

1

Getting started The secret to becoming profitably published is to follow a system, or process, that breaks what should be done into a series of tasks, each of which—by itself— is easily accomplished.

Step 1: Planning Planning is crucial. Without careful planning, even the ideas and best-written books are unlikely to succeed. Planning involves answering questions like the following before you move forward. What are your goals and expectations? Why are you interested in writing

a book? How will your book contribute to your success? Is there a market for your book? Who will buy it? Why should they buy it? What are the characteristics of your market? What’s your book about? What problems will your book help readers solve? What will set it apart from the competition?

Which publishing alternative makes the most sense? What are the pros and cons of the alternatives available? What’s required? What can you expect from literary agents and publishers? What do agents

and publishers want from you? How do you locate and approach them?

Text wraps occur when graphics are placed within text columns, where they reduce the line length of adjacent text. Text wraps interfere with rhythmic reading, because readers have to adjust their left-to-right eye rhythmic movements. Place graphics so they align with adjacent text columns. Two-column page layouts can accommodate a variety of large and small graphics. Place small horizontal graphics, and narrow vertical graphics in the narrow column to the left of your main text column. Larger and wider graphics, however, can be placed within the text columns.

More books fail to achieve their goals because of a lack of planning than a lack of writing ability. 1

William Hutchison Murray’s, The

Scottish Himalayan Expedition As quoted in Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters, 2007.

The biggest mistake first-time authors often make is to write a book before they have done the proper planning. Writing without planning is like driving from Atlanta to Los Angeles without a map. You may arrive at the right location, but—chances are—you won’t!

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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Slightly reducing the graphic and placing it in the narrow column

Color Color is one of the most visual aspects of a white paper. Color is most powerful when it is subtly and consistently employed.

restores rhythmic reading to the text column.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

11.

Use color with restraint

Use color to communicate rather than decorate. Only add color when it enhances your message and reinforces your firm’s corporate identity—or, your client’s corporate identity. Consistency is the key. The colors used in white papers should be the same as

the colors used in a firm’s other online and offline marketing. These colors should relate, in some way, to the colors used in the firm’s logo. The overuse of color prevents branding—creating a unique, consistent image that multiplies the effectiveness of a firm’s marketing. When multiple colors are used, none of the colors contribute to an image.

Recolor chart and graphic elements They should match your white paper’s color palette

But, when a few colors are consistently used throughout a firm’s marketing, the colors—like the yellow of McDonald’s arches or JetBlue’s blue logo—creates a synergy that prospects will remember. Less is always more. A single color highlight on a page will attract more attention than the same color used in several locations on a page—especially if the highlight emphasizes a key point.

12. Specify color palettes A color palette is a selection of a limited number of colors chosen because they work well together in print and online. Colors should be identified using specific values, or numbers, rather than visually. Once selected, the color palettes should be available to all employees on all computers. Pie chart, above, as originally created in a spreadsheet program.

Rather than introduce too many colors in a palette, consider adding design flexibility by using tints and shades of your firm’s key colors:  Tints. Adding white lightens the colors, making it useful for backgrounds and fills.  Screens. Adding black makes them suitable for small type set or borders.

13. Recolor graphics Avoid the default colors used by software programs when adding bullets to lists or charts and graphs. Instead, recolor bullets and chart elements to match the color palette associated with your firm’s corporate identity. Pie chart elements after recoloring to match color palette.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

This greatly enhances the professional image projected by the white paper. Recol-

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R O G E R C . PA R K E R ’ S “ D E S I G N T O S E L L ”

Proofing Checklist .95 $7 ue l Va E! E FR

No job is complete until you proofread it one more time! Keep this checklist next to your computer. Refer to it before you print and distribute each of your publications.

you read your publication out loud? 3 Did Reading out loud helps you identify errors like repeated words, omitted

words, long sentences, and awkward sentence construction. text easy to read? 3 IsIs there a pleasing relationship between type size, line length, and line spac-

ing? Can your eyes quickly scan several words at a time on each line?

3 Avoid text and subheads isolated at the top or bottom of columns and pages. Are there any distracting text wraps, widows, or orphans?

oring imported graphics also integrates the visuals with your white paper’s text. It communicates professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that someone cared—and is likely to care when prospects sign on the dotted line and become clients. Pay particular attention to the appropriateness and consistency of colors used to format:

Paragraphs at the top or bottom of pages must contain at least two lines. extra spacing slipped in between words and sentences? 3 Has Never press the space bar twice after periods at the end of sentences. Also,

check for extra word spacing inadvertently added during editing.

3 Headlines and subheads set entirely in upper case type, i.e. capital letters, take

 Bullets in a list

Are there headlines or subheads set in upper case type?

up more space and are harder to read. there any cluttered or crowded pages? 3 Are Are there any unnecessary design elements? Is there sufficient white space

at the tops and bottoms of columns, and between text elements? you limit headlines and subhead length? 3 Did Limit headlines to 3 lines; subheads to a single line. No exceptions! you check phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and URLs? 3 Did Always confirm all phone numbers and addresses before distributing your

message to check for transposed or missing numbers or words. you run the spell checker one last time? 3 Did Spelling errors are often unintentionally added at the last minute, when a

 Borders and fills in tables  Slices of a pie chart  Bars in a graph

“final touch” is made to a headline or caption. any words missing? 3 Are Check the last paragraphs of every article or story, to make sure that no lines

are missing and the “Text in Overflow” icon is not visible. ©2006 Roger C. Parker

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Proofing checklist Plastic laminated review of lastminute design elements to check.

Proofing The real work begins just when you think you’ve finished your white paper! What happens after you finished writing and formatting your white paper is as important as what happened while you were writing and formatting.

14. Start by printing and sharing Always print your work before proofing it. It is much harder to locate problems reading on screen than it is when reading a printed copy. When proofing, start on the last page and work your way forward! This slows you down, and helps you focus on each sentence and paragraph. Otherwise, you might get caught up in the moment of your ideas and overlook problems like omitted words or overused phrases.

Homonyms Mistakes your spellchecker won’t catch!

Whenever possible, invite co-workers, or—even better—professional editors, to review your white papers before you distribute them. It’s very difficult to edit your own work. Your brain “knows” what you meant, and will automatically insert correct or omitted words.

design ≠ deign family ≠ familiar me at ≠ meat to ≠ two ≠ too threw ≠ through tot he ≠ to the

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

15. Avoid spell-check mishaps Always run your software program’s spell-checker one last time before distributing your white paper. Mistakes often show up during last minute changes. Avoid over-dependence on your software program’s spell-checker. These are great time-savers, but can lead to trouble.

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Recommended design resources From the thousands of books available, here are a few personal favorites

 Homonyms. Watch out for correctly spelled but misused words. As long as the words are spelled correctly, your spell-checker may not care whether you meant “threw,” “through,” “thorough,” or “trough”. Missing spaces between words can also cause problems.  Proper nouns. Pay particular attention to the proper spelling of client and prospect names, firm names, and products. Add important names to your spell-check dictionary, so they will be accurately and consistently spelled.

The elements of typographic style by Robert Bringhurst

 Jargon. Monitor the spelling of terms unique to your field. Don’t assume that your software program has flagged a term because it’s strange: it could also be misspelled!

Editing by Design Jan V. White

 Numbers. Pay particular attention to transposed numbers in street addresses and phone numbers. Call all telephone numbers to be sure they’re accurate. Double-check all links and e-mail addresses.

The Making of a Brand A case study in publication makeover Maria G. Nozza www.mygraphicsnotebook.com Before & After Magazine John McWade www.bamag.com The Official Adobe Print Publishing Guide www.adobe.com Type and Layout Colin Wheildon

16. Fine-tune text formatting There’s more to proofing than running the spell-checker. Here are some typographic mishaps that can undermine the credibility that white paper success requires.  Hyphenation. Monitor your software program’s hyphenation. Know when to turn hyphenation on, and when to turn it off. Always hyphenate body copy, for example, but never hyphenate headlines, subheads, or pull-quotes. Limit the number of hyphenated lines in a row. Avoid typographic disasters, like “therapist” being hyphenated as “the rapist.”  Line-breaks. Do not allow phrases containing dates and proper nouns to split over two lines. Use non-breaking spaces to keep first and last names, cities and states, and month/date/year together on one line. (You may have to occasionally rewrite an earlier line in a paragraph.)  Sentence spacing. Avoid two spaces following periods. This creates distracting “holes” in your text—especially if you are using justified text, i.e., lines of equal length. Use your software program’s “find and replace” feature to locate and replace double spaces with single spaces.  Widows and orphans. Avoid subheads isolated by themselves at the end of a column or page. Make sure paragraphs contain at least 2 lines at the top or bottom of columns or pages. Use your software program’s “keep together” feature to prevent isolated subheads or paragraph fragments.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

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White Paper Design that Sells

Steps to success There are four steps involved in improving your white paper design skills. These involve making choices, including:  Acknowledge the challenge of design  Assemble the right tools  Invest in the right training  Choose the right people

1. Acknowledge the challenge of design Hardware and software cannot guarantee design success. Design literacy has been a challenge since the earliest days of publishing, in the mid-1980’s. The first widely distributed design book for non-designers was my Aldus Guide to Basic Design. Over 300,000 copies were distributed.

Prior to that time, graphic design and production was a craft practiced by trained, full-time, typesetters and graphic designers. Design was “democratized” by the popularity of the Apple Macintosh computer and Aldus PageMaker. (The Aldus Corporation was later acquired by Adobe.) Suddenly, everyone was a designer! It soon became obvious that the capability to create pages was not synonymous with the ability to “design” attractive, easy-to-read pages. “Ransom note design” became common, characterized by crowded pages containing too many different typefaces. One of the first solutions offered to “non-professional” designers was my book, The Aldus Guide to Basic Design, which Aldus sent to all registered PageMaker users for many years. (Over 300,000 copies were distributed!) My Aldus Guide to Basic Design was followed by my first book, Looking Good In Print: A Guide to Basic Design for desktop publishing which is still in print. This American best-seller was translated into dozens of languages including Russian, Serbian, Israeli, and Chinese.

My Looking Good in Print, the world’s first best-selling design book, was quickly translated into dozens of foreign languages, including Hebrew.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

2. Assemble the right tools Today, you can create white papers using both dedicated page layout programs like AdobeInDesign and Quark XPress, as well as word processing programs, like Microsoft Word.

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Font buying tips Purchasing fonts online as sets can save you money, for example. Ascender Corporation’s Creativity Font Pack, above and below, contains a Design Guide I wrote to accompany the project.

Dedicated page layout software programs—even relatively low-priced programs like Microsoft Publisher—offer significant advantages over word processing programs. Microsoft Publisher, which runs on the Windows operating system, has already been installed on hundreds of thousands of computers because it has been included with many versions of Microsoft Office. Fonts play a major role in white paper success. The right fonts go a long way towards making your white papers distinct and easy-to-read. Templates are crucial to white paper success. Templates save time and money by making it possible to “design once, produce often.” Templates are based on repeatable page layouts that jumpstart your white papers. Templates include text styles which ensure that type will be accurately and consistently formatted. The best templates offer content guidance as well as formatting assistance. Templates should be customized to reflect your firm’s existing corporate identity standards, i.e., colors, layout, typeface, type size, etc.

3. Invest in the right training Today, only a relative handful of those creating white papers have had formal design training. Most white paper creators are “self-taught,” using books and online resources, instead of formal training. Resources for learning more about white paper design:  Online. Sites like www.designtosellonline.com contain numerous free resources, such as two sample chapters from my latest book, Design to Sell: Plan, Write, and Design Great Looking Marketing with Microsoft Publisher. You’ll also find worksheets and templates.  Newsletters. At www.designtosellonline.com, there are copies of a helpful newsletters you can read and download or subscribe to for free.  E-books. E-books offer tips and expertise in topics too specialized for trade publishing, i.e., books sold in bookstores, are often available direct from the author. Examples include a Content Catalyst containing over 400 topic ideas for articles blogs, newsletters, presentations, speeches, and website incentives.  Teleconferences and webinars. Choose from a variety of free and low cost teleseminars and webinars. Webinars are similar to teleseminars, except you can view visuals on the screen of your computer, while listening and participating.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

– 11 –

www.designtosellonline.com


design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

4. Choose the right people RROO G E R

C.

PARKER’S

Vol 2, #5

NEWSLETTER

design to sell

Resources for making design your strategic marketing partner

Newsletters and website success

Offer your clients and

Post each issue on your website to attract new traffic and repeat visitors each month One of the easiest ways to build website traffic is to use each issue of your newsletter as an incentive to access your site.

prospects a The best way to do this is to create a choice of e-mail formats

“Resource” page on your website containing descriptions of each issue plus links to individual pages where visitors can read or download each issue. see example E-mail newsletters Many associations and firms distribute their newsletters as e-mail messages. Although relatively easy to implement, there are disadvantages to this approach:

Roger C. Parker has

y Newsletters sent as text files are easy to prepare and create small files which can be immediately read. Text newsletters, however, fail to project a distinct and memorable image that differentiates your message from your competitor’s.

been helping firms and individuals profit from design

y Newsletters sent as HTML newsletters do a better job of branding your message,

since you can format your newsletter with typefaces, type sizes, colors, and graphics. HTML files take longer than text files to open, and recipients usually have to resize the window before reading. Some recipients may also be concerned about opening HTML files. The biggest disadvantage of both formats, however, is that both alternatives can be difficult to print, save, and share. E-mail attachments Others distribute newsletters as e-mail attachments formatted using Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat PDF files, too, suffer from several disadvantages. y Failure to build website traffic. Distributing your newsletter as e-mail attachments does not offer clients and prospects reasons to revisit your website each month. y Obstacles to delivery. Many e-mails containing attachments are not delivered because they trigger Spam filters or are filtered out by corporate firewalls. y Lack of tracking. When you distribute newsletters as e-mail attachments, you can’t easily find out if the newsletter was

since 1985

©2006 Roger C. Parker

Learn more at www.designtosellonline.com

Free design newsletter Sign up and receive monthly design and marketing ideas, suggestions, and tips.

&

Tips from Roger C. Parker, best-selling $32 million dollar* author

Vol.

1 Published Profitable 3 Because writing is everyone’s business…

No.

Choosing the right individuals to prepare your white paper is critical. This involves addressing 3 serious issues:  Keeping projects on schedule. Time is your firm’s most important resource. There usually isn’t enough of it to go around. Your white paper must appear in a timely manner, yet its creation must not interfere with the ability of your employees to fulfill their normal, day-to-day, responsibilities. Assigning white papers to a qualified outsider avoids scheduling difficulties.  Avoiding the “curse of knowledge.” Those associated with developing and selling breakthrough products may not be able to write about them from the prospect’s point of view. A better solution is to have someone outside the firm interview those involved in creating the new product.  Seek a balanced perspective. Avoid those who approach white papers from a “strictly design” or “strictly copy” perspective. “Over-design” must be avoided. It can increase costs and delays and project the image of a sales brochure, rather than a credible exchange of helpful information. White paper message and design must complement each other.

Questions to ask Selecting the right individual to work on your white paper involves asking the right questions, such as:

How to avoid the first-time authors’

12 Biggest Mistakes It’s up to you to promote your book

“If you want to change your life,” Harry

isn’t accepted is not a good use of your time.

Beckwith wrote in The Invisible Touch, “write a book.” But, writing a book can also be

3. No agent

tremendously frustrating and unrewarding. Following are the 11 biggest reasons most firsttime authors fail to receive the rewards they are due.

1. Unrealistic expectations even if it’s a success by publishing standards. The vast majority of books fail to earn out their advance. Instead, develop a personal marketing plan to leverage your career off your book. Instead of trying to make money on the book itself, use your book to open doors, promote your credibility, and build relationships with readers.

discarded. The right agent will know exactly which publishers might be interested in your book. Agents can also negotiate terms more effectively than you.

4. Weak titles

an advertisement. The title represents your one and only chance to attract the attention of acquisition editors or bookstore readers. Successful titles stress the benefits readers will

Never write a book without a signed

gain from your book. Successful titles arouse

and two sample chapters.

1.6 million copies

Publishers are increasingly selective the titles they accept. Often, less than 1 in 20 titles

in 37 languages

proposed are published. Writing a book that

©2006 Roger C. Parker

suasive documents that educate and inform readers? . Time. Will the individual be able to meet project deadlines without in-

terfering with other responsibilities and tasks that must be completed?

Spend time on the title; titles sell books.

The title of your book is like the headline of

2. Writing without a contract contract. Instead, prepare a polished proposal

*Roger C. Parker‘s

agent. Publishers rarely accept unsolicited book proposals. Unsolicited proposals are

frequently returned unread or are simply

Don’t expect to get rich off your book,

31 books have sold

You must be represented by a literary

1. Track record. Does the individual have a proven ability to prepare per-

curiosity and offer solutions. They often include consonants and alliteration (repeated “hard” sounds like G, K, P or T).

Learn more at www.publishedandprofitable.com

Free writing newsletter Sign up for free monthly ideas about planning, writing, and promoting a book to build your business.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

. Perspective. Can the individual approach the project from an outsider’s

perspective, like prospects will? 4. Design background. Does the individual understand the principles of

visual design, avoiding the costs and delays incurred when others must format the white paper? 5. Track record. Can they prove their expertise? Do you recognize any of

their clients? Do they have credible references? 6. Samples. Have you read any of the white papers they have prepared?

Do you like the style?

– 12 –

www.designtosellonline.com


design to sell

White Paper Design that Sells

How I can help For over 20 years, I’ve been helping firms like Adobe, Apple Computer, AmazingMail, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Mindjet, Paper Direct, Yamaha, and others, educate their market. Since the earliest days of the desktop publishing revolution, I have been helping clients clarify, educate, and simplify. My assistance includes:  Message development, including topic selection and organization.  Copywriting, including sales and marketing materials, training, etc.  Critiques, a fresh perspective on your project’s copy and design.  Templates and training to jumpstart future projects.  Design training and workshops, delivered online and in person. Let me help you and your firm profit from the power of white papers used as marketing and sales tools. My “dual major” as a copywriter and designer gives me an uncommon ability to help you with your white papers. Looking Good in Print is the one to buy when you’re buying only one! NY Times L.R. Shannon

PO Box 697 Dover, NH 0382 Phone: 603-742-9673 Email: rogercparker@aol.com Websites:

www.publishedandprofitable.com

www.designtosellonline.com

Roger C. Parker is the “great simplifier!” Cathy Colletto, Marketing Manager, Mindjet Corporation

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

– 13 –

www.designtosellonline.com


Announcing…

The End of Paralyzing Writer’s Block Forever! Nothing can turn off the flow of ideas faster and with more chilling precision than writers block. But, there is a cure! Introducing Roger C. Parker’s Content Catalyst, the cure for writers block. Just imagine always having something relevant and captivating to say to your readers, web visitors and marketing prospects. You probably already know the message, all you need is a “hook” — an idea, concept, or title — to speed you on your way. The Content Catalyst reduces writing to a “paint by numbers” exercise. Once you have your topic in place and the keywords where you want them, you’ll be on an unstoppable path to success as your project seems to fall into place.

Create content like a machine The input is the sum of your business-related knowledge; the output is a steady stream of winning customer-oriented communications.

400+ ideas to spark your creativity  Ideas for articles, blogs, and newsletters

 Definitions, descriptions, and examples

 Create website content to attract search engine traffic and increase e-mail sign-ups

 Never be at a loss for words if asked to speak or present

Users give 2 Thumbs Up! The Content Catalyst is, by far, the most useful book I’ve ever purchased to help me create

Make a difference in your business right now. Take the dramatic step forward by ordering the Content Catalyst risk free. Just click here to begin.

Click here to banish writer’s block from your vocabulary!

Your Content Catalyst is a constant fountain of ideas and projects. You are good at showing people easier ways to do things and saving them time. Your Content Catalyst is an example of something each of us needs.

Copyright © 2007 Roger C. Parker

Kip Gienau

content. I’ll never have to worry about topics for articles, e-books, newsletters or membership sites again. Ryan Lee Fitness Entrepreneur http://www.ryanlee.com

There is nothing like your Content Catalyst anywhere. Catherine Morley www.designers-who-blog.com Indonesia

www.designtosellonline.com

White Paper Design that Sells - Fundamentals of Reader-Friendly Design  

Learn the basics of designing easy-to-read books, ebooks, brochues, newsletters, reports, and white papers. The simple, practical advice in...

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