1.7 What to avoid

  • Long paragraphs can discourage reader from reading further. Can make it difficult to find the necessary information, for example if dates and times are buried in the text.
  • Large blocks of text in Italic, Underlined or UPPERCASEAll these font-styles make the text more difficult to read. Italic reduces contrast between text and background. Underlining can draw a line through letters with tails, e.g. y, g, p. Uppercase makes reading more difficult because it is not the way we are taught to read.
  • Justified AlignmentUsing Justified Alignment will mean that both the left and right hand margins are even. This can cause a river effect with some people seeing the blank space between the words rather than the words themselves.
  • Centred AlignmentUsing centred alignment means both the left and right hand margins will be uneven. This makes it more difficult to follow the text as your eyes have to keep moving to find the start of the next line. Some screen magnification equipment might miss out lines that start out of range of the left hand margin.
  • Glossy paperLight may reflect off glossy paper making it difficult to read the text.
  • Text on top of imagesAffects the contrast between text and background
  • Poor quality photocopyingCan result in poor contrast between text and background
  • Thin paper especially for double-sided printing Affects contrast as text will show through to other side.