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(COPYWRITING) Case, Typeface, and White Space

11-15-2013

These three simple script-formatting hints look too simple to have any effect, but theyll help save you time, money,and face.

And I learned them from our print-oriented colleagues. Amazing.

1. Anything written in mixed upper and lower case type is easier to read than all caps. Lots of studies have proven this, yet many radio scripts ARE STILL WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS, no doubt in an effort to make them more readable, when in fact, it makes them less so.

2. A serif typeface (containing those little hooks on the ends of the letters), like Times font is easier to read for boomers and older, because of the fonts used in elementary school texts. In the 70s those schoolbooks switched to a sans serif font --  Helvetica -- so type without serifs is more familiar for younger people.

3. White space is essential. Double-space your sentences. Leave wide margins. Give your voice talent room to make notes, draw arrows, underline, doodle, write in copy changes -- anything that will give them a clear road map through the script.

Why should a voice actor struggle, even a little, with your copy? Make it easy for them so you both can concentrate on making the delivery natural, compelling, and interesting.

I never thought these little things would make a difference, but my experience writing, directing, and reading thousands of spots and narrations has made me a convert.

Make it easy for the actors to understand and get a sense of the copy. Youll save time, money, and more of the actors energy can go into interpreting the meaning instead of trying to make sense of the words.

Want another radical radio idea for free? Email me jeffrey@hedquist.com and Ill send you a way to use an old Saturday Night Live sketch to create a powerful radio campaign. No charge.



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