Design

7 White Paper Design Tips for Beginners

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 15/06/225 min read
7 White Paper Design Tips for Beginners

A white paper is a reliable and comprehensive document that provides detailed and concise information on a particular topic. It helps address complex business issues and offers valuable information to the target audience. Brands create white papers to showcase their expertise and educate their target customers.

White papers are one of the most effective tools for B2B marketing. Potential customers look to white papers to learn about and understand certain topics, and even seek solutions. But the effectiveness of a white paper is all about the way the content is presented, making white paper design an essential component of the process.

7 Easy White Paper Design Tips

In this section, we will explore the best white paper design tips for beginners, so that you can craft professional yet appealing white papers for your target customers.

1. Pick the right design tool

Your white paper design will depend on the choice of software you use, as each tool comes with its own features and design elements. While there are online tools that will provide you with ready-to-use white paper design templates, seasoned designers may use Photoshop or other professional designing software. No matter which software you use, the ultimate aim is to make it look professional and consistent in terms of design.

2. Put emphasis on the title and cover

When it comes to design, first impressions matter, as they will set the tone for how the reader will perceive the rest of your content. Your cover needs to be designed in accordance with the nature of your brand target audience. For example, if your brand is quirky, you can use an illustrated cover with fun elements and bright colors to appeal to the target audience. For professional B2B brands, the cover can have softer colors.

 

an example of an eye-catching white paper cover

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Another crucial white paper design is to make sure your title stands out. It should be front and center, and have a font and other design elements that draw the right amount of attention. Remember that designs and illustrations on a white paper need to play the role of amplifying the text, and should not distract the readers from the topic.

3. Add the right amount of information on each page

Once all the information, including the text, images, charts, and other graphical elements, has been incorporated, the final review must ensure that each page has the right amount of information. Since most white papers will be in digital format, there is no limit to the number of pages you can add. However, we recommend that you follow these three steps to make sure that the content placement is accurate:

Read each paragraph and make sure it fits in logically (and doesn’t get cut off abruptly).

Make sure each sentence and word is adequately spaced out.

Ensure each page has just one or a maximum of two graphics, as too many graphical elements on the same page can take attention away from the text.

 

4. Keep the font size uniform

When designing any white paper, readability has to take precedence. This means the font of the overall white paper has to be large enough to be comfortably read but not too large to seem loud or unprofessional. Most people’s eyesight also tends to deteriorate post their 40s, which should be considered when designing the white paper. For example, B2B white papers are aimed at business decision-makers and other higher-authority figures, who are most likely to be in their 40s or older.

 

example of a white paper design

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In addition to ensuring the readability of the content, the white paper design needs to be uniform. For example, the H1 title has to have a uniform font and color across the document or one that blends in with the overall theme. In addition, each color and font has to have a meaning, and randomly amplifying or using a variation of fonts or colors is not recommended.

Mentioned in the above image is an example of uniformity in the font style as well as size. Also, notice how the design has been kept simple, and some part of the information has been highlighted with a blurb, breaking textual monotony.

5. Use visuals judiciously

infographic statistics

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Images or graphics are key to a well-designed white paper, and help emphasize the hero content. If the images are too complex, glaring, or distracting, the text may get overlooked, diluting the purpose of the document. Use illustrations to back a point, and make sure they follow the content of the document. At times, designers can even use an interplay of colors and themes to create emphasis.

6. Add elements of interactivity

If you want to take your white paper design to the next level, you need to add interactive elements to it. This means adding links to existing content that may add greater value to a particular subject or product. You can also add other interactive forms of content, such as video, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and more. Since the target audience can have their preferences, having content in multiple formats helps make a substantial impact.

Do not forget to put in social media buttons, website links, and contact information at the end of the white paper, or place them strategically within the document. Ensure all the links and embedded elements work for multiple browsers, platforms, and devices so that the customer can access the content easily.

7. Follow your brand guidelines

A white paper is often the single-point document used when sales, marketing, or other departments want to explain a particular topic, process, or technology. As such, the design language and the overall branding of the white paper are critical. The designer may take the creative liberty to add appealing graphics and colors, but they should be as per your brand style guide.

 

example of design uniformity in a white paper

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Some companies also have corporate white paper design templates that detail the font, layouts, logos, and other branding elements that must be part of the document. Depending on relevance, designers can use these templates and build a design that blends with the company’s other documents, giving it a consistent look.

We hope these tips help you create a white paper design that stands out and grabs the reader’s attention. Although there is much that you can do to design your pages, the key to a good white paper design is a focus on simplicity and readability. By focusing on these two values, you can create truly remarkable white paper designs and even carve a brand theme that helps you stand out from the competition.

If you need help designing or creating content for your white paper, feel free to give a shout-out to our team here.

Key Takeaways

A white paper is a technical document that is usually published by a business or government.

They give detailed information about a product or process.

When designing a white paper, you should organize it into sections.

A few crucial elements of a white paper include a catchy cover, visual data, meaningful and relevant textual information, and adequate white space.

Each element in the white paper should have a logical flow, and has to match the overall theme and design of the document

Good white paper design is not just about excellent graphics. It also ensures that the key message in the content is properly highlighted, and that all the text is readable.

FAQs

1. What is a white paper design?

A white paper is a comprehensive document that provides detailed and concise information on a particular topic or product. White paper design, in essence, is the process of styling and designing a white paper, and includes several aspects like the content, graphical elements, emphasis points, titles, headers, and other design elements.

2. What is the white paper format?

A white paper format includes elements like:
● Cover page
● Title
● Table of contents
● Page titles
● Subheadings
● Text
● Visuals or graphics to add value to the content
● Graphs or tables
● Page footer
● Back page

3. How do you structure text in a white paper?

Any white paper aims to identify and address a particular business problem and provide detailed information on a technology, topic, industry, or trend. Since white papers are often descriptive and text-heavy, the structure can include an emphasis on text, key highlights, and an overview to help readers browse through and easily understand the moot point of the white paper.

4. How many types of white papers are there?


● Thought-leadership white paper
● Educational white paper
● Market research white paper
● Technical white paper
● Problem/solution white paper
● Visionary white paper

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