The goal of Clear
Language and Design is to produce text that communicates clearly and
easily. There are two main areas to consider: the design or "look"
of the text, and the actual language itself. Clear language is
something you can practise as you speak - it means saying what you
mean as clearly and simply as you can. Clear design is something you
can practise when you look at signs, brochures, advertising,
anything written or printed. Look and listen critically: was it said
as simply as it could be? What made it hard to understand?
Understanding the principles
of Clear Language and Design is important for people who work in the
adult literacy field: this includes volunteer practitioners as well
staff. Clear Language and Design can be used to select or create
student curriculum, as well as to print informational brochures and
The first step in writing is
to decide who will be reading what you write. Who you write for will
influence every decision you make about style and layout. What may
be fine for an advanced reader may completely block a beginning
reader, whether that be vocabulary or type style. For instance, very
basic readers will need a lot of white space, but more advanced
readers can handle densely packed text.
adapted from St.
Christopher's House website