What’s Your Type?
I don’t know about you, but I am always intrigued by the Facebook quizzes I’m invited to take: “Who Should You Marry?” “What Kind of Action Hero Are You?" “Where Should You Live?” The answers are meant to either affirm what you already know or completely blow your mind, making you question everything. What? I married the wrong person? Really? I thought I was more like Spiderman – but this test says I am definitely Wonderwoman. That does it! I am moving to Paris, just like this test says I should!
The following tips come by way of Jeff Brooks’ excellent book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications. Jeff is the creative director at TrueSense Marketing and has worked with some of the best and biggest non-profits in the country including Ronald McDonald House, The Salvation Army, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In his book’s section “The Design of Fundraising,” one of his axioms is to “Design for Older Eyes.” Since most congregations have a few folks in that “older eyes” club – it behooves you to take note of the following:
- Use only serif fonts in written communication. Sans-serif tends to be harder to read than serif. Tests show that people comprehend serif fonts better than they do sans-serif. Examples of popular serif fonts: Bookman, Caslon, Garamond, Palatino, and Times New Roman. The exception: sans-serif is easier to read on-line.
- Use only black type. Don’t try and go all-cutesy and use rainbow-colored type. Blue, red, and green type are hard to read and people will just stop looking at the page no matter how great your message. Black type is your go-to color in communications – always.
- Use only 12-point type or larger. Anything smaller and people have to pull out the magnifying glass – or worse, they’ll just throw away what you want them to read. I know that you want to get everything on one page – but either cut something out or go to two pages. Really – if what you are writing is compelling (you’re telling someone’s story) – two pages are OK. But for heaven’s sake don’t go down to a 10-point type just to scrunch everything on one page. Please be kind to people’s eyes.
There you have it, dear friends. A few design secrets from one of the country’s best. Go forth and make your written communications seen and read. And while you’re at it – be sure to tell me “Which Golden Girl are You?” or just “How Old is Your Soul?” My inquiring mind wants to know.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. If she took the quiz, "What Ice Cream Flavor are You?," she would definitely be Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.