Turn Your Marketing Pieces into
almost 5 o'clock
afternoon. Do you know where your newest marketing pieces are? If
you're a small business owner, they may be buried on your desk because
you've got so many other important details to handle. Or they're still
sitting on your assistant's desk where she's staring at them
hopelessly. She's an admin assistant, for heaven's sake, not a
designer, and she knows what she's produced so far is not very
memorable or effective.
of us would like to think our product is so good, our services so
unique, they'll simply sell themselves. Not so! Strong branding,
powerful images, compelling web pages and outstanding marketing pieces
make or break that upward sales curve you crave so urgently. In
today's market, your customers and clients are influenced more than
ever by the visual presentation of your marketing pieces. If they are
well designed, they're likely to be read, remembered and respected.
are five simple, but essential tricks of the designer's trade that you
can use immediately, at little cost, and with excellent results to
profit you both short and long term.
1. Take advantage
of quality clip art and stock photos:
Chances are you're not an illustrator or photographer, but that
shouldn't stop you from using professional illustrations or photos in
your marketing piece. You can use clip art--sometimes at a very low
price--to enhance your layout. Check out the Internet for sites that
feature clip art or stock photo libraries that provide a wide variety
of quality and prices to choose from. Use the same style of graphics
throughout your piece to create a consistent look.
2. Add dramatic
Using contrast means having clearly apparent differences among the
design elements that come together on a page, business card, or
computer screen. These include contrasting colors, shapes, fonts, and
sizes of text and graphics. A high degree of contrast helps create
dramatic interest and draws the viewer's eye to specific areas of your
page. White space also provides contrast, aids legibility, and gives
the reader's eye a resting point. Controlling the amount of white
space you use affects the overall page design.
3. Repeat certain
Good design calls for repeating certain elements throughout your piece
to make the whole piece come together visually. For example, use the
same color, shape, and size for all your bullets. Also make all your
headers the same size, color, and font. Go for more and repeat
specific graphic elements (e.g., boxes, banners, rule lines, etc.)
throughout the piece. A word of caution: When you review your work,
look carefully for any inconsistencies.
4. Pay attention
Proximity refers to the exact spatial relationships between elements.
For example, you create visual relationships between photos and their
captions by keeping the captions close to the photos. For subheads, a
pro positions them closer to the text below than the text above. Apply
this principle of exact spatial relationship to all other graphic and
text elements where appropriate.
5. Know when to
use serif and sans serif fonts:
In general, when you have a large amount of text, it is best to use a
serif font because it is easier to read than a sans serif font. Serifs
are the tiny horizontal strokes attached to the letters that help the
reader's eyes flow from letter to letter. Bold sans serif (without
serifs) are good for headlines and subheads because they slow the
reader down thus bringing more attention to each word or concept. Some
examples of serif fonts that are good for body copy are: Times, New
Century Schoolbook, Garamond and Goudy. Some examples of sans serif
fonts that are good for headlines are: Arial Bold, Helvetica Black,
Univers Bold and Trade Gothic.
You're smiling because you have incorporated these important design
elements into your marketing strategy. You're ready to face a new week
with vastly improved opportunities to keep smiling at a growing bottom
Read other articles and learn more
about Karen Saunders.
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