Quick Tip:
Using Graphic Violators to Punch Up Sales

How do you make sure that people see important information in your promotion … information like a super-special offer or an urgent deadline?

By using a graphic violator.

Despite the unsavory name, graphic violators are useful devices for directing a reader to other parts of a publication. They are frequently used on the front cover of a promo, but they can also be used elsewhere.

Violators are eye-catching colorful shapes (starbursts, ovals, banners, and the like) that stand out on the page.

They have minimal text, such as “Free Gift – See Page 31!” or “This Cooking Oil Could Save Your Life! Page 25”

A violator often looks like a sticker that's been applied after the print job was done. This gives the impression of presenting late-breaking news that just became available.

To create the “violator look,” infringe (cover) some underlying text. But don't cover up something you actually want your reader to see. Some common places to infringe are over part of the nameplate, in a banner above the headline, or in the upper right corner of the page.

Always strive for visual contrast with violators. For instance, use reversed type in a colored shape. And use no more than one per page or you will deflate the punch of this device.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: February 23, 2006

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