Used to attract attention, especially in long articles, a pull-quote is a small selection of text pulled out and quoted in a larger typeface or using some other formatting distinct from the rest of the article. A pull-quote may be framed by rules, placed within the article, span multiple columns, or be placed in an empty column near the article.
A pull-quote is sometimes referred to as a call-out but not all call-outs are pull-quotes. A pull-quote is a teasers or visual signpost that draws readers into an article just like kickers or eyebrows, decks, and subheads.
A pull-quote may or may not use quotation marks, or the quotation marks and other punctuation may be used as decorative elements. From a design and layout standpoint, pull-quotes should not appear too close to the spot where the text appears in the article. If appearing too close together it can create the sometimes disorienting impression for the reader that they have lost their place and are re-reading the same passage.
Pull-Quote Design Tips
The following are not hard-and-fast rules, but general guidelines and common practices.
- Multiple pull-quotes in the same article should use a consistent style.
- In a newsletter where most articles use a common style, usually best to stick with the same pull-quote style throughout the publication.
- In a magazine where different styles (columns, fonts, etc.) are common from one article to the next, different styles of pull-quotes are common.
- In a book that tends to have the same style from chapter to chapter, pull-quotes should also be consistent in style from chapter to chapter.
Formatting Pull-Quotes in Desktop Publishing Software
- Use style sheets and paragraph styles in your desktop publishing software to create one or more styles of pull-quotes for consistency and ease of formatting.
- Hanging punctuation is frequently used with pull-quotes. High-end software often has tools that automatically creates hanging punctuation.
- When placing a pull-quote within one or more columns of text, use the text wrap options of your software to flow the body text around the pull-quote just as you would wrap text around a graphic.