The Levison Letter


8 type and layout facts
you need to know now!
October, 2017

My clients call on me to write powerful, compelling copy. But the fact is, if the graphic designers who lay out my words don't really understand what works visually, they can make the most motivating copy invisible and useless.

That's why I only work with designers who know the best research on typography and layouts and use that research in their work.

If you want to know what layout and typography techniques are most effective, I urge you to order a copy of a fabulous book called
"Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes?" by Colin Wheildon. (I have no financial connection to this book whatsoever. I just think it's terrific!)

Here are just some of the important conclusions Wheildon comes to. Ignore them at your peril!

On Headlines:

Wheildon has a lot to say about headlines, and well he should. Just as the job of an envelope (in direct mail) is to get opened, the headline's job is to get the reader into the body copy. That, of course, is where the heart of the message is communicated. Check out some of Wheildon's key research findings . . .

1. "Headlines set in capital letters are significantly less legible than those set in lower case."

2. "The darker the headline, the greater the comprehension level. Black headlines are well understood by nearly four times as many readers as brightly colored headlines."

3. "Slightly condensing headline type makes it easier to read. Settings between 70% and 90% of natural width appear to be optimal."

4. "Using periods at the end of headlines may have a detrimental effect on readers' comprehension."

On Body Type:

A headline may be eight or nine words long, but body copy can run on and on. This means that readability is an extremely important issue. People just won't keep reading if your art director/graphic designer makes things difficult. Here are a few more of Colin Wheildon's findings that make excellent sense . . .

5. "Body type must be set in serif type if the designer intends it to be read and understood. More than five times as many readers are likely to show good comprehension when a serif body-type is used instead of a sans serif body-type."

6. "Text must be printed in black. Even copy set in deep colors is substantially more difficult for readers to understand. Seven times as many participants in Wheildon's study demonstrated good comprehension when text was black as opposed to either muted or high intensity colors."

7. "Black text printed on light tint has high comprehensibility."

8. "Text set in capitals is difficult to read."

CLICK HERE to order a copy of "Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes?" from 
Price: $29.93

And don't forget to check me out. Take a look at what clients have to say about the kind of results my copywriting gets for them. Then give me a call and let's talk about how I can write your next lead-generation letter, email, home page, ad . . . you name it. And don't think my services will cost you an arm and a leg. NOT TRUE! Call me at (415) 461-0672 and I'll give you a (reasonable) quote on your project on the spot.

Let's go to work!

How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site

Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

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