Use good quality, uncoated paper

There are many types of paper used for printing and each one reacts differently to ink. One consideration when choosing paper is how much light the paper reflects (glare).

The best quality paper is uncoated or matt, as it is the best way to avoid glare. Additionally, the surface takes ink well, which improves legibility.

Avoid shadowing by using heavier paper

Make sure your paper is heavy enough to avoid ‘shadowing’. Shadowing is where text and images printed on one side of a page can be seen through the other side of the paper. Ask your printer or supplier for advice when choosing paper, as some paper is more transparent than others.

Bind documents so they can be opened out flat

Use binding that allows the document to open out flat for ease of reading. This will make the document easier to hold while reading and easier to set flat on a surface. This is particularly useful for members of the public with dexterity difficulties or those using text-to-speech reading devices.


Half Canadian binding is an example of binding that allows the document to open out flat and also allows for lettering on the spine for the title of the document so it can be identified when shelved.

Written Communication

Font and paragraphs Checklist

Formatting and layout Checklist

  • Text should be a minimum of single-spaced.
  • White space should separate paragraphs.
  • There should be a wide, clear space separating text columns.

Document Design Checklist Colours, Images, Graphs and Visuals

e images to support the main body of text and ensure they are accompanied by alternative (Alt) text in the alt attribute.


Use paper that weighs at least 90 grams per square metre (GSM).

Bind documents so they can be opened out flat.