Friday, February 24, 2012

Space Too Tight? Use These 7 Tips to Slim Down Your Graphics

Sometimes no matter how much we try to convince our clients that less is more, we find ourselves shoving oversized content into an undersized space. Maybe your client wants to save money by only printing a two-page brochure, even though they have four pages of information. Maybe they could only afford a 1/4-page ad with enough text and graphics to fill a half-page space. Or maybe you are working on graphics for a page-restricted RFP and are over by several pages. If you are suffering from bloated content, then here are my 7 tips to trim down graphics and make them fit in tight spaces:
  1. Exclude extraneous words and descriptors. Change “Our Systematic, Quality Evaluation Process” to “Evaluation Process.”
  2. Use known acronyms. For example, “quality control” becomes “QC.”
  3. Use a sans serif, narrow font like Arial Narrow for graphics, tables, and callouts. (If your document does not embed the font, make sure the end user has the font.) Sans serif fonts are cleaner looking and easier to read for short chunks of text and small sizes. Narrow fonts shorten the width of each character, which allows more content in the same space.
  4. Decrease line spacing where possible. For page-limited proposals, I recommend using a .85 multiple line spacing in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and the same line spacing as font size in Adobe products (for example, 10-point line spacing for a 10-point font).
  5. Use short arrowheads.
  6. Remove all unused space.

  7. Delete extraneous imagery. If an image quickly communicates information, keep it. If, however, the image merely supports the information, delete it.

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