Pull quotes are a staple of good magazine design. When done properly, they can break up copy-heavy pages and add compelling interest for readers.
When done badly, they can be confusing and awkward.
Magazine Designing comes to the rescue with a great primer on best practices in pull quotes. Among their tips:
Pull quotes should consist of several words, but generally not be longer than two sentences. They need to be long enough to give a complete thought, but not so long that they read like text.
When designing the pull quote, get creative. Set it apart with oversize quotation marks, brackets, boxes or any number of graphic devices. Just be sure the font of the pull quote is large enough to be seen as a graphic element, not as copy.
When placing your pull quote in the story, avoid the top of single columns (where it might be confused as a headline), and don’t place it between paragraphs (where it might be mistaken for a subhead). Make it clear that the quote is just that, and set it apart graphically so there is no mistaking its purpose.
For pull quotes with the most impact you need the right combination of words and graphics. Check in with the copy editor for suggestions on which words to pull if you aren’t sure.
Good advice on great design. Tell us what you think.