The Art of Designing Visually Appealing PDF Documents

The Art of Designing Visually Appealing PDF Documents_

Portable Document Format is highly popular among educators, marketers, and business people. PDFs are suitable for printing and displaying information online and can be opened on almost any device. Flyers, brochures, e-books, white papers, zero blocks — all these content pieces are PDF files in the vast majority of cases.


Yet, choosing PDF as your medium doesn’t guarantee standout results. The document must be visually appealing to engage people, teach, or persuade them. But how to make a competitive PDF without a designer? How to convert PNG to PDF? What are the basic principles of effective visual design? The answers lie in understanding the essentials of effective visual design.


How to Arrange Content and Visuals

Before you create a PDF, you should first determine its goals. A document may serve as educational material. In this case, you should pay more attention to the text structure and credible resources.

For lead magnets such as free e-books, it is important to bear in mind the target audience. It is essential to choose the proper language, visual style, and interactive PDF design for a specific category of readers.

Meanwhile, most marketing materials should contain one clear message that appeals to a certain problem or needs. This message usually triggers both rational and emotional motives of the reader.

Whatever the goal you want to achieve, it is mandatory to remember one golden rule: the text and design must be consistent. They go hand in hand to ensure a profound and holistic experience for your recipients. To make this principle clear, let’s explore three main pillars of appealing PDF.

Focus on Text Formatting

Text formatting in a PDF extends beyond something a PNG to PDF converter can fix. You should be aware of many pitfalls and try to avoid them.



Experienced writers often say that crafting the perfect heading occupies as much of their time as the writing itself — a practice equally relevant for PDF documents. H1, H2, and H3 headings help readers to skim the whole file and highlight key points in a few moments. 


They also serve as visual breaks that make it easier to navigate through the text. Make headings as comprehensive as possible. It is also not recommended to make very long titles and subheadings. 

Text chunks

The analogy of eating an elephant one bite at a time aptly applies to digesting lengthy PDFs. Breaking down a document into manageable chunks enhances readability. There is no general rule on how big your text fragments should be. However, it is not usually recommended to make paragraphs longer than 4-5 lines. 


Discussing fonts could warrant its own article, given how much they impact a document’s readability and overall ambiance. We’ll try to condense this extensive topic into three simple pieces of advice:


  • The font size shouldn’t be too small. Readers don’t have to strain their eyes. Headings must be significantly bigger but not too big.


  • Pick fonts appropriate for the specific file. For instance, Comic Sans may not be the best choice for academic presentations unless it’s an ironic design choice.


  • Find compatible and distinctive font pairings such as Hind Bold and Amulya Regular. Don’t use more than two (in rare cases — three) different fonts in one document. 


Incorporate Visual Elements and Other Media

It is difficult to imagine marketing or educational PDF files without visual content. Images are the most common objects in PDFs after text. Seamlessly integrating these elements, through a save PDF as PNG, elevates the document’s appeal.


Images demonstrate the concepts you explain in the text. They emphasize the key points and serve as one more medium of the message. Pictures not only set the document’s tone but also offer a visual respite for readers.

A balanced combination of images and words makes reading easy and interesting. You capture the attention and direct it to the point you want. This balance can have a strong impactful effect on your audience. However, the quantity-to-quality ratio must be justified; otherwise, your PDF will be like a comic book. All images have to be as purposeful as possible.


Moving away from monotonous white backgrounds, often reminiscent of school textbooks, can significantly enhance a PDF’s visual appeal. It can be a solid color or an entire picture. You can experiment with background to manage the readers’ attention in the best possible way. If you are not a designer and think that creating colorful files is difficult, we hurry to reassure you. The web is full of free templates.

Interactive elements

Indeed, cool interactive PDF files can contain videos, audio recordings, menus, buttons, links, quizzes, and some other objects that can easily capture the reader’s attention. Utilizing them will make your document unique and original. They also indicate your professional approach and make PDFs more trustworthy. The good news is that it’s pretty simple to add interactive elements to your file.


You just need to select an online or downloadable tool and edit your document. With it, you will learn how to write on a PDF file or how to add any element.


Final thoughts

Designing first-class PDFs is a skill that will make your documents memorable and effective. Exceptional PDF design can increase conversion, engage a new audience, and ultimately sell your product or idea. To succeed, you should always keep a proper balance between text and visual objects. Keep in mind the formatting tips that we’ve shared and add appropriate images when necessary. Simple rules and simple tools can bring your PDFs to the next level!


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How To Design Visually Appealing PDF Documents_

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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