Medical Writing Medical Writing Education Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 2 Page layout and readability

Volume 22, Issue 1 - Medical Writing Education

Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 2 Page layout and readability


The purpose of page layout is to consciously arrange text and graphics on a page in a way that supports the reading process and allows the reader to effortlessly follow the flow of information. It should blend words and images into an effective whole. Many of the basic principles of page layout in use today date back to the times when book printing was born in the Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution and Gestalt theory likewise have left their distinctive imprints on page design. The page designer's job, then, is to read and digest the text before making specific style choices and creating a layout that supports the writer's message.

Download the full article


  1. Whitbread D. The design manual. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press Ltd.; 2001.
  2. Lynch PJ, Horton S. Web Style Guide [document on the internet]. 2011 Available from:
  3. The British Library. Treasures in Full: Gutenberg Bible [document on the internet]. 2000 Available from:
  4. Barcelos T. As wonderful as insane the Apple's logo design Available from:
  5. Kanizsa G. Margini quasi-percettivi in campi con stimolazione omogenea. Rivista di Psicologia 1955;49:7–30.
  6. Rutledge A. Gestalt Principles of Perception [document on the internet]. 2008 Available from:
  7. Moore P, Fitz C. Using gestalt theory to teach document design and graphics. Tech Commun Q 1993;2:389–410.
  8. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Graphic design, 1945-75: The International Typographic Style [document on the internet]. 2012 Available from:
  9. Thomas O. Jan Tschichold: Penguin composition rules (1947) [document on the internet]. 2010 Available from:
  10. Robertson K. On white space in graphic design [document on the internet]. 1993 (Originally published in Émigré 1993;26.) Available from:
  11. Waller R. Making connections: typography, layout and language. AAAI Technical Report FS-99-04 [document on the internet]. 1999 Available from:



Medical writing education
Message from the President
EMWA's position on ghostwriting
Essential modules for teaching publication writers
Combined workshops on medical writing and publication ethics for Japanese postgraduate students and faculty members
Teaching scientific writing to non-native English speakers
A field guide to medical writing training
Teaching scientific writing using the learner-centred approach
On educating the medical writer
Learning and teaching clinical writing
Your professional association: A great way to expand your skills and advance your career
Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 2 Page layout and readability
Implications of clinical trial data sharing for medical writers
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory Writing
Medical Journalism
Medical Communication
Out On Our Own
The Light Stuff

Member Login


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Feature Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral Board



Managing Editor

show all +

Associate Editors:

Section Editors:

Ad-hoc Editors:

  • Amy Whereat (SpeaktheSpeech Consulting, Asnieres sur Seine, France)

Editor Emeritus: