Archive: Dec 2012

  1. Are You Guilty of These Brochure Design Mistakes?

    5 Comments 4 min read

    In order to attract more customers, your clients must promote their products and services. There are a number of marketing tools to attract new customers, but unless they’re used effectively, they won’t fulfil your business goals.

    If your clients have a restricted budget for marketing, then you could recommend using brochures to promote their products and services. Brochures are quite affordable and help bridge the gap between your target audience more effectively. However, sometimes simple design mistakes can lead to the failure of a marketing campaign. So with that in mind here are some of the corporate brochure design mistakes you should never make.

    1. Overcrowding the Design

    While designing, some people can include too much information and confuse readers. Your target audience doesn’t want to read about your clients company history. You should give only the most important information about the company in order to retain the readers’ attention. If you’re promoting products, then highlight the benefits of the products and the services they provide, then tell your customers why they should use these service over a competitors. Give the website address, so that readers can visit the company website and learn more about your clients business.

    2. Using Different Fonts

    You have to differentiate the headlines from body content, but don’t use too many fonts for that purpose. When you use too many fonts, it creates visual clutter and your brochure design looks unprofessional. You should use a maximum two different fonts. However, you can use different font styles such italic and bold to highlight the important parts of text content.

    3. Missing Headings

    Nobody likes to read large chunks of text. You should break your content in small paragraphs and use headings to highlight each paragraph. People generally scan a leaflet and if you don’t give headlines, they may miss the most important points.

    4. No White Space

    Before you start designing, draw a margin and make sure you don’t write anything outside the margin. If there is no white space in your brochure, readers will get tired. Give plenty of white space and maintain line spacing to offer better readability.

    5. Too Many Colours

    A colourful flyer always looks attractive, but a rainbow coloured design looks garish. You should stick to a pre-determined colour pallet that you know works – if the company your design for has company colours, think about using those to help create a sense of brand synergy

    6. Compromising the Quality of Images

    If you use low resolution images, your target audience will think that your products are not good. Think about it from a buyer’s perspective. Would you buy laptop from a company if you saw fuzzy laptop images in their marketing material? Sometimes companies use low resolution images to save on professional photographers and stock images, but believe me, if your consumers see low quality pictures of your products, they will never buy it. Therefore, instead of saving a few hundred dollars, you should use high resolution images and make more profit in the long run.

    7. Printing without Proofreading

    Your readers won’t tolerate any spelling or grammar mistakes. You (and your client) should thoroughly check the content before sending it to the printing press. Otherwise, all your hard work will be in vain and you have to reprint your brochure.

    8. Not Considering Text Alignments in a Folded Brochure

    You need to pay special attention to folds in brochures as the fold can often clip sentences. If you want to design a folded brochure, then pay attention to text alignment and make sure that the fold does not include any text. Sentences must end before fold so that readers can read your message without any interruption.

    9. Discreet Message

    When customers look at a brochure, they notice the headlines and images first. Make sure you don’t send any mixed messages to the audience. Your images and headlines must convey a very clear message to the audience. Give a straight forward call-to-action message, such as “contact us now”.

    10. Unprofessional Printer and Poor Quality Paper

    Your brochure is a company’s messenger and if the messenger looks poor, people think that the company is poor as well. Some companies will go to the trouble of hiring a professional like yourself, but when it comes to printing, they use their office printer. Once the design is complete, you should contact a reliable printing company and ask them to print your brochure using high quality and suitable paper.

    You must avoid the aforementioned mistakes to design an effective brochure. A compact, information rich and high quality brochure design can make a brand look very professional within a very short time.

    Photo credit to zilver pics

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  2. Creating an Effective Graphic with the Right Questions

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    QuestionsWhen designing for a client, a designer or a graphic company, you need to understand entirely what the project requires. Clients hire professionals to translate their ideas but it is up to the designer to draw out the details from them by asking the right questions. Clear communication with the client is the key to creating an effective graphic for any designer.

    Through asking, you will not only get to know what the client needs but also get to know the clients themselves. The interaction will gain you a loyal customer as well as a good reputation for listening for what your clients wants.

    Creating ideas for the graphic will be less difficult if you have the right information. So do not hesitate to ask. Clients may actually appreciate that you want to make clear whatever aspects are needed for the exact outcome of the graphic.

    So what questions should you ask to get you started? Ask about…

    1. The nature of their business

    Understand your client by probing into the nature of their business. Build rapport with them and ask how they began and grew. This will help you figure out how you will design the graphic effectively in relation to the context of their business.

    By starting off your communication in this manner shows your sincerity about the project. It exhibits professionalism as well as concern for your client. This ethic may set you apart from other competitors in the graphic design industry.

    2. Their preliminary ideas

    Fish out their thoughts. What kind of “look and feel” are they expecting from the graphic? Inquire about where the graphic will be used so that you can somehow conceptualize the kind of image you will create. Hear them out. This is the time where you need to listen well to what they want to see in the image. Take note of the details such as color, size, preferred font, etc. that your client wants incorporated in the graphic.

    graphic design jobs3. The complexity of the output

    Identify their expected output — does your client want a simple image or a complex illustration? It would be futile to think of an illustrative and complex image when all the client really needs is a simple typography. Here you can suggest ideas that they may have not considered yet. Explain design terminologies in words they can comprehend and avoid jargon.

    Send them one or two drafts of what you have understood from their explanation and ask them if you have accurately grasped the picture they have in their minds. If in case it is far from it, you may be able to adjust accordingly to nail exactly the graphic your client needs.

    This may also be an avenue for you to inform your client about your design methods and to show them the list of other services you offer. In other words, this is where you open and close the business deal.

    4. The deadline

    It is important to know when the client needs the graphic. You have to clear this at the onset to avoid any confusion in delivering the output. This will guide you and help you determine the priority level of the project. You may also be able to map out how you will work on it especially if you also have other design projects in the pipe line.

    5. The projected impact

    After knowing all the information about your client and fetching their ideas as well as pitching in your design solutions and all the technicalities that go with it, this question wraps up everything.


    Ask your client what message they want to tell their market with the graphic. This will direct you to how you will design the graphic with the kind of impact they want it to bring. It will encapsulate all the information that has been gathered and will guide you properly in making the best graphic to convey the message of your client.

    Never assume that you have got all things well pat with just the initial communication. Ask questions and clarify any details you may have missed. Your clients expect to work with professionals so give them that. Asking questions does not mean you have difficulty in picking up but actually shows your effectiveness as a designer. Make it a habit to clear it with your clients through inquiries before embarking on the design and create a graphic that your clients will love.

    This is a guest post by Celina Conner; a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Diploma of business from Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on her Twitter.
     
    Photo Credit to Eleaf

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