a designer’s friend
Recently we came across a website where the entire home page text was in upper case (capitals). We don’t know about you, but that level of capitalisation feels like you are being constantly shouted at, and it does somehow feel rude? Not only is it more difficult and slower to read than traditional lower case, but it doesn’t look quite right either.
And we're sure you’ve come across those flyers or adverts where every word in a title or bullet point is in capitals for some unexplained reason. Whilst not as bad as full capitalisation, it does have the potential to appear a little odd and the designer in us wants to correct it instantly.
What are the rules?
So, if it’s wrong to over-capitalise, why do some businesses insist on repeating the same mistake time and time again? And if it’s easy to master, what are the rules?
In basic terms, the first letter of the first word of every sentence, proper nouns including people, places (countries, towns, buildings, streets), companies, books, films etc. needs to have a capital letter. And in some cases, there is nothing wrong with capitalising certain words (FREE for example) or headings/titles for effect, but that’s really where this obsession needs to end. Seasons, months, directions, job titles and acronyms (that are spelled out), do not need to be subjected to excessive capitalisation.
You need your prospective client to be able to read and understand things quickly and without hesitation. There is no benefit at all if they are struggling to overcome too many capital letters and just give up
Grammar vs. marketing
Everyone has their own opinion about when to use all capital letters. Ask an English teacher and you will get a lecture on the rules of grammar. Whereas a marketer will argue extensively about the importance of conveying an important message or grabbing attention. To us however, it will always be about the user experience.
You need your client or prospective client to be able to read and understand things quickly and without hesitation. There is no benefit at all if they are struggling to overcome too many capital letters and just give up.
To ensure you get it right next time, here are our top tips for capitalisation:
Aim for stylish not style-less
The overuse and or inappropriate use of capitals, can ruin your brand’s credibility. If you aren’t 100% sure whether to capitalise a word or not, the best thing to do is check. However, if you just want to leave these decisions to someone else, we can heartily recommend hiring in an outside expert, like a professional copywriter, to draft your content for you.
If you like these tips we can send future ones straight to your inbox…