If it looks easier to read, more people will read it
One technique for making sure even a long story looks easy to read is to use Edmund Arnold’s dollar-bill test.
Arnold, a journalist and design consultant for more than 50 years, said that no chunk of copy should stretch longer than and wider than a dollar bill.
Break copy up.
To keep copy chunks short and easy to read, break up the copy with such display copy as
Passing the dollar-bill test has a side benefit: It gives your piece multiple points of entry — or lots of places where a scanner can dive into the text. Given reading patterns today, that’s a big deal.
The dollar-bill test in action
I think you would agree that this piece, from the Chicago Federal Reserve, does not pass the dollar-bill test. It looks off-putting.
And that’s fine. As long as you don’t want anyone to read your piece.
Test your online communications.
So pull out your wallet. Slap down a dollar bill. And do what you must to make your piece look easier to read.
Now here’s the bad news: The dollar-bill test is for print. Online, it’s the palm test.