I’ve confessed many times that I’m a news junkie. I’ve cut back a lot lately in an attempt to think more positively, but I still get quite a bit of news. Ah, well.
After awhile, it all starts to sound alike. Economy. Blah, blah, blah. Obama. Blah, blah, blah. Unemployment. Blah, blah. Octomom. Blah. And on and on. Then, with a certain jingle, the words “breaking news” stop me in my tracks. They’ve got me.
What about “catching people” in print media? (the form that most church’s can afford)
What about when you’re scanning a newspaper, magazine or brochure? When my sister lived with us for a time, my wife would find it humorous that once my sister and I had quickly perused the same newspaper, we would remember the same things. Sometimes ads, sometimes an article, sometimes a photo.
What makes us notice things in print?!
Here are 6 ways that we’ve learned to make sure you “break-through” and are noticed. We call these “eye interrupters”.
- Bold Words. If you have long paragraphs and you want people to notice certain things, you can bold a word or make it small/all caps. So when people scan over the text, they get “caught” on certain ideas — and these words will give a gist of what the overall meaning is.
- Headlines and Subheads. Most people that are looking through a booklet or brochure, only look at the headlines or subheads. Make sure these “interrupters” tell enough of your story. And make them alluring enough to encourage more reading.
- Pictures or Illustrators. Need I say more? Pictures speak a thousand words. And yes, dogs and kids still attract attention more than anything…
- Drop Caps. This is when the first letter (or letters) of a paragraph are larger than normal and break the next line (or lines) of the paragraph. Statistics say that more people will start to read a paragraph with “initial caps” than a “normal” one.
- Call-outs. If you have text-intensive information, be sure to have important information that you make larger and perhaps in a different font that becomes a call-out. It can repeat information in the main text, or can be read “inline”.
- Numbers. Weirdly enough, if you add a number to a headline or cover, more people will read it. Just look at the grocery-checkout magazine selection — numbers everywhere! And this blog headline got you to read it too…
There are many other eye interrupters that I haven’t mentioned. But the key is, when you look at a page of information, and you squint your eyes, you shouldn’t see “gray”. If you have something important to say (as all churches should!), things need to standout! Let me know what you think.