Sunday, August 30, 2009

Publication Considerations

Apparently there is more to reading text on a page than meets the eye. In fact, how text is presented on a page can have a significant impact on the way a reader interprets the content. Publication is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, each part is important and needs to be positioned in the appropriate place in order to give a clear picture of the overall message. For example, according to Parker (1990, pp 1-22) factors such as proportion, consistency and contrast must be considered when presenting a document. Headings should be sized according to the importance of the text they are drawing attention to - the larger the font size the more likely the eye will be attracted to reading it first. Consistency makes a document easier for readers to interpret - consistent fonts and sizes, as well as spacing specifications can help guide a reader smoothly through text and allow for a tidier, more orderly presentation. Contrast balances colour and whitespace, or can help establish the importance of one area of the page over another. The use of appropriately placed graphics can help establish a pathway for the reader's eye to follow, however if an image is placed in the wrong area of the page it can have a distracting effect on the reader and cause them to overlook vital information contained in the text. Bearing these principles in mind, it seems there are many subconscious actions that occur each time a person reads any type of publication. I am hopeful that further study of these theories will lead to my developing an ability to prepare professional, carefully considered and well laid out documents for publication in the future. It is certainly food for thought...

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