White Paper Design
Good quality cloud white papers are a mix of marketing, research, and insights shared by a company that is willing to distribute a portion of its knowledge. However, a poor white paper design can result in unreadable and unpopular piece of content. Any white paper designer should also know that it is not a brochure. A white paper should not resemble a colourful brochure made for marketing purposes only. On the other hand, this is not a traditional scholarly essay, so design should look appealing to readers.
A white paper needs elegant editorial design with no more than 65 characters on a line. It improves readability both on screen and on paper. Any reader will experience difficulties with longer lines that run from the very start to the end of a page. Line spacing is also of importance. Select line spacing that enhances the readability of your fonts.
Another component to consider concerns page breaks. A major section of a white paper should start at a new page, not leaving a line or two at the bottom of the page. Use footnotes carefully and leave enough space to the footer.
More Best Practices
Consider use of appropriate, informative, and engaging illustrations for your white paper. Keep it balanced, it is not a children’s book nor a tech manual that is full of text and diagrams. Use bullets, boxes, numbered lists, shading, and sidebars to highlight important elements and create a visually appealing book. On the other hand, do not insert too many illustrations that distract the reader. A too colourful white paper is the opposite of the so-called “grey wall” and is equally hard to read.
Using and creating appealing graphs is tricky. A graph or chart should be clean to appeal to the eye of the reader. Make a few tweaks to achieve cleaner design and your graphs will stand out. Use white space wisely to make the layout flow naturally and improve readability.
Adding interactive components will engage your customer more than a static page they read on a computer or a mobile device. Do not forget that most content is already interactive one way or another and a good portion of content is being read on a mobile device. For instance, you can add a video to a white paper and take full advantage of all available mediums.
The best design is one that enhances content. So, do not add or tweak visual components for the sake of having them into your white paper. You can use ready-made template for a white paper but select one that best reflects your corporate identity and the topics you discuss. Thus, you’ll have every chance to design a good white paper.