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Good copy redeems bad layout and typography

Meaning: Any cramped, outmoded, un–thought–out website can be saved. Well, nearly any site.

I have tried in the past to overcome bad typography through using inline styles in the CMS, something like div style="line-height: 24px; font-size: 16px; font-family: georgia;" and it’s really one of the most stupid things I’ve ever done. Adding another set of visual cues to an already confused website creates… more confusion.

Far better to accept the current regime and work at the good copy basics:

  • product/service descriptions that state how the product/service will benefit the reader
  • headings to guide the reader through the text
  • bullets to break up the text
  • multimedia to aid explanation
  • keyword emphasis to aid scanning
  • clear, well placed calls to action
  • clear, active voice sentences

All these can be achieved on any website, regardless of its design qualities.

On the final point: Some inline styling may be acceptable here as something like p style="background-color: #DFDFDF; padding: 12px; border: 1px solid #BF0000; float: right; margin-left: 12px;" will pull the call to action out of the main text and make it easier for the reader to find.

Good web copywriters are really worth their weight in gold.