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Graphic Design Quick Tip: typesetting bullet lists

by / Tuesday, 16 July 2013 / Published in Quick Graphic Design Tips

Bullet lists often get treated with a bit of disregard in long copy documents, newsletters and sales sheets, but they can be tweaked quickly with a couple simple settings. Nicely organized bullet lists can make your page design much easier to navigate, and the information much easier to consume. Here are a couple examples:

This block of copy is pretty much copy-and-paste from the word document. I used a simple greek copy deck for this example. The copy just flows top to bottom with simple indents as were typed originally.

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The information is all there, and it’s easy enough to read, but on a whole page filled with type and graphics, it’s not as easy to distinguish where one things begins and another thing ends. In this sample, I just added a small “space-after” of .1 inches (this feature is located in most Adobe programs under the paragraph setting palette)

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This helps separate the elements a little better, and makes the content easier to digest in small parts. In the next example, I added a little extra formatting to the bullet list.

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By using the indent palette in InDesign, I just set the indent to include everything up to the hard-return. This formats everything in a single bullet to follow the indented alignment. These 3 steps will greatly improve the readability of a bullet list in long copy. You can take it a simple step further, and alter the bullets to something other than the traditional black circle.

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The chevrons are a little more interesting in my opinion, and they feel a little less old school. The small box at the end of the bullet list is VERY old school, but I made it solid and grey to change it up. That’s a personal taste choice, but I like to try little things now and again. I think it adds something.

Formatting your bullets is another one of those small things that adds up quickly to help your design along.

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