Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Importance of Presentation - eBay Design Tips

I've posted type and layout discussions before. It's so important to pay attention to the fundamentals of design when you post listings on eBay -- in the fonts you choose, the way you justify them, how big they are and on and on. eBay sellers would be well served to take a short course from any number of sources. The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing covers design and presentation in depth -- that's one place you could start. It will give you a solid foundation plus it covers all kinds of other eBay selling topics, like customer retention, copywriting, growth strategies and on and on.

I continue to research design and layout, because it interests me. Some of my information comes from Ogilvy On Advertising, but lately I'm learning quite a bit from another book -- Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes?

Here's a little tid-bit just concerning the research available on headlines:

"Fifty-sever percent said they disliked 'screamer' headlines, such are used on the front pages of some popular tabloid newspapers, and in some large display advertisements, because they had to hold the newspaper or magazine further away than usual from the eyes to be able to read the type. [my note: that's useful if you're not holding the thing -- ie in a supermarket line... something to think about.] The criterion for annoyance was the need to focus twice to read the entire content.

"Multi-deck headlines were generally disliked. Fifty-six percent indicated they found headlines of more than four decks difficult to comprehend.

"Sixty-eight percent said they became bored with long, wordy headlines. The comment was made frequently that there seemed to be nothing left to read after the headline."

My advice is to buy this book if you really want to understand layout, type and design. It's really an essential part of a writer's knowledge. I work with designers all the time on projects, and I like to be able to offer suggestions and steer them clear of hazzards. It makes for better ads, and the customer loves it when you can work as a team.

The book is expensive at $36.95 retail, but it's worth it. There are loads of gems within the covers.

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