Know your audience preferences when designing publications, and be sure to strike the proper balance between flash and content.

Don't be seduced by flash. Your publication may end up like a cocktail table book or magazine that looks pretty but is agonizingly difficult to read.

Here are some problems to avoid:

1. Copy that is a hodgepodge of short blurbs and images, as if it had all been dropped on the page and printed without first being organized.

2. Long titles and intros printed in all capital letters, which makes it more difficult to read.

3. Little or no distinction between editorial and advertising, so one may be mistaken for the other.

4. Paragraphs on the same page - and in the same article - in different colors and fonts. It looks like a mess.

5. Columns that are too wide.

6. Or, columns that are much too narrow.

7. Photos and images standing out more than articles.

8. And printing them over text, so the text cannot be read.

9. Little boxes of text scattered across photos and pictures - seemingly unconnected to anything.

Visuals should enhance the appearance, not dominate it.

If you actually want people to read the content, don't go overboard on the flash.