02 February 2013

Layout guidelines for a specialist readership

As mentioned in my last post, Gican will be distributing a special issue of Sea and Navy magazine focusing on French products and service at naval shows around the world throughout 2013.

Preliminary discussions on this project between translator Steve Dyson (yours truly) and the Met & Marine team focused on how to improve the magazine's visual appeal and readability for our highly specialised audience including procurement agency staff, company executives and naval officers, a high proportion of whom are second-language readers.

We decided to adopt a number of simple guidelines with a view to meeting the needs of our target readership.
These guidelines include:
  • simple, elegant layout  
  • simple, elegant high-readability typeface
  • black type on white background (no coloured type on coloured background)
  • white space between paragraphs
  • minimal use of italics and capitals
  • easy-to-read captions relating directly to photos and diagrams of special interest.
Feedback welcome. When the magazine becomes available on line, I'll post a reminder.

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