Designing Documents That Stand Out: Tips and Tricks for Success

You have an amazing idea, but explaining it in an email or a long report just won’t cut it. People are too busy to read lengthy documents. So, how do you capture their attention and convince them without being face-to-face?

Traditionally, people had two choices: making attractive slides (with or without notes) or writing detailed documents in Word. If visual communication has already been done or is not suitable for your case, it’s time to move on to document design. We will help with effective document formatting.

Graphic Design Tips

1 Remember the White Space

Imagine a room cluttered with furniture. Navigating through it is a challenge, right? Now, picture a space where each piece of furniture has room to breathe – the room seems larger and more inviting. This is the concept of white space in document design: the open areas between text and images that provide visual breathing room and help guide the reader through your content.

How to Harness the Power of White Space:

  1. Set Appropriate Margins. Margins are crucial. Ensure your text has enough distance from the edges of the page. This prevents a cramped look and makes reading easier.
  2. Space Out Your Paragraphs. Adjust line spacing to around 1.15 to 1.5 times your font size. This creates an airy feel and improves readability.
  3. Utilize Bullet Points. Bullet points are great for organizing information. They also introduce additional white space, making lists more approachable and less overwhelming.

2 Font And Number Of Characters

Choosing the right typeface is akin to selecting the perfect outfit for a job interview; it leaves a lasting first impression. It’s crucial to choose a font that matches your document’s tone—be it authoritative, creative, or informative.

Here are some tips to guide you through the many typeface options:

  • Maintain Consistency: Use one or two fonts consistently throughout your document. Your headers and body text should be distinguishable yet complementary.
  • Prioritize Readability: For digital documents, classic sans-serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica ensure clean readability, while serif fonts like Times New Roman provide a formal touch for printed materials.
  • Consider Size and Hierarchy: Employ font sizes to establish a clear hierarchy of information. Titles and subtitles should decrease in size progressively but remain larger than the body text.

You need not only standout documents, but also secure, effective communication. One of the most reliable methods of transmitting documents is fax. Moreover, now you can use your smartphone to sending and receiving faxes and it couldn’t be easier. You need to install fax from the iPhone on it – the application completely replaces the fax. Moreover, the documents have the same legal force as paper copies passed from hand to hand.

3 Take Care of Correct Alignment

Alignment is the key to transforming chaos into structure. Picture a well-orchestrated symphony, where every note seamlessly fits into place, creating perfect harmony. Similarly, in your document, alignment ensures that each line and paragraph is arranged to produce visual harmony and logical flow.

Here are some essential alignment principles to guide you:

  • Left Align for Simplicity. Left alignment is the standard for most documents because it aligns well with the natural reading patterns of our eyes. It creates a straightforward and easy-to-follow format that enhances longevity and readability.
  • Use Center Alignment Sparingly. Center alignment can be visually appealing for titles or callouts but use it with caution. Overuse of center alignment can disrupt the readability and smooth flow of your content.
  • Avoid Justified Text Pitfalls. While justified text can appear neat and organized, it often results in uneven spacing between words or ‘rivers’ of white space that distract the reader. It’s best to avoid this alignment style to maintain a coherent and engaging document.

4 Italics

Italicize text to indicate the stress of a word within a sentence. While italicizing won’t make the text visually stand out, it adds clarity and intention to the sentence.

5 Practice Color Theory

Color holds significant power. When used wisely, it can emphasize, categorize, and even evoke specific emotions. However, the key to incorporating color into your professional documents is subtlety – remember, less is more.

Here are some effective color strategies:

  • Brand Alignment. Incorporate your company’s color scheme into your documents to maintain consistency and recognition.
  • Highlighting Hierarchy. Utilize a single highlight color to draw attention to key points or sections without overwhelming the reader.

6 Informative Headings

Clear and descriptive headings are essential for making your business documents easy to navigate. When your headings succinctly convey the main points of each section, readers can quickly identify and focus on the parts most relevant to them.


If you follow logic and the tips listed above, you will be able to create user-friendly, attractive and understandable documents. They can have any purpose, but must be easy to read and provide basic information even with a quick glance.

Designing Documents That Stand Out: Tips and Tricks for Success was last updated May 31st, 2024 by Judy Channell