• Kait // TeamClearIdeas

The Results Are In... ALL CAPS or Nah?

WHEN YOU START TO SEE TOO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS CONTINUOUSLY THEY BEGIN TO BLOCK TOGETHER AND IT GETS HARDER AND HARDER TO READ. IT GETS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT TO READ WHEN BOLD. TO PROVE MY POINT I’M JUST GOING TO TYPE ANOTHER SENTENCE HERE - THIS ISN’T ENJOYABLE TO READ, IS IT? NOT TO MENTION, YOUR MIND PROBABLY PERCEIVES IT AS LOUD, YELLING, AND IN YOUR FACE. Which can be OK… rarely.


"...I am a type/tense sensitive person.”

We took a poll on Facebook & Instagram, and the results were only slightly surprising. The final combined results after 24 hours was 24% YES! & 76% No. One of the comments was from our very own Melissa Anderson: “No, purely because I am a type/tense sensitive person.” When asked to elaborate, she said “I've lived in a digital age for most of my life. Everything means something. Every '...' or color or emoji is meant to convey the nuance of the person speaking. ALL CAPS is meant to catch someone's attention, and it makes me feel the importance of the word/statement."


I have compiled a complete list of when it is acceptable to use all caps:

  1. Certain design elements.

  2. To emphasize a single word or phrase.

  3. Acronyms.

  4. That’s it.

Any other time (and sometimes even the situations listed) writing in all caps is considered rude and irritating, and is extremely unprofessional.



So let’s talk about design. Rather than try to explain too much, here are some examples (including our own logo). You don’t feel like you’re being shouted at, and it adds to the design.



Most generally, people use all caps to emphasize a word or phrase. Using all caps for an entire sentence or paragraph however, actually defeats the purpose. When every letter is capitalized, they all start to look the same, and your reader is going to tune it out. Even though using all capitals is acceptable in this situation, there are better ways to emphasize:

  • Bolding

  • Italics

  • Bolding & Italics

  • Punctuation! (Be careful not to go overboard!!!!)

  • A different color or font (As long is it’s complementary - this probably belongs more in the design category)



In the professional world, all caps are a hard no. When used in communications others will see, it appears as though yours is most important and should be viewed first. Therefore, the way we present the message is just as important as the message itself. So let’s always strive to put our best content, text, font, and “CAPS” opportunity forward.


We want to know what you think - leave a comment below or on our Facebook post! Thanks for reading! Follow us on Social Media to stay up-to-date on the latest print+marketing+design trends and Team Clear Ideas!

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