Whether you’re designing your first business card or creating a press pack, it’s important to make sure your marketing materials look professional. I've put together these top tips to counteract some common faux pas.
1. Create a Professional Design
You can go all-out on hiring a graphic designer (or take time designing online for free), but if you’re struggling to find a suitable layout, here are my 3 mini tips:
Use white space – You might hear this a lot and wonder how anyone can leave all that space which could be filled with useful information about your business. White space is the clear areas on your marketing materials. A layout that is filled with writing is going to put off the reader. Avoid overcrowding your design with every last detail about your company and use the space to highlight the key facts.
Visualise your text – No-one wants to sit through reals and reals of text, try to make as much of your information as visual as possible. You could use photographs, illustrations or make charts and graphs. This will make your information more memorable to your customers.
Titles – If you want to include paragraphs of text into your marketing materials, it’s important to start each section with a title. You should include a larger title for your main company tagline or the subject you want to promote and smaller titles for your sub text.
2. No Cheesy Photos
Some people like to put personal photographs on their marketing materials. Depending on your brand, this can be entirely OK. If you want to be the face of your company, it’s a great idea to add personality to your marketing materials with a photograph or two.
Invest in the services of a professional photographer, and get some decent headshots done. Don’t steal your favourite Facebook photograph. It won’t put across a professional attitude to anyone reading your marketing materials, and it’s likely that you’ll regret using a cheesy (and unprofessional) photo at a later date.
3. Be Sparing With Your Colours
You’ll already have picked out your brand colours, but when designing marketing materials, it can often be tempting to expand out. Don’t!
Stick to your brand and, if you have to, use one or two additional colours to complement the existing palette.
Too many colours can distract the eye from the key message you want to put across. Professional graphic designers keep within a specific palette for a reason: it looks more professional, sleek, and impressive.
You should also consider the colours in the photography that you use on your materials. If your brand has a muted palette, a bright florescent photograph isn’t going to reflect your colours very well. If you have a photograph that you must use, find an online tool to help you add a filter to make the colours less harsh.
4. Go As Luxe As You Can
Your marketing budget may be small but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact. Select your options carefully, and remember that touch is as important as looks when it comes to your professional marketing materials.
For example, rather than picking the lightest GSM because it’s cheapest, think about how your customers will perceive that. If you’re handing out flyers for an on-the-spot street promotion, they won’t expect the highest of quality. But if you’re sending out a press pack to woo journalists, they’ll take notice of the paper quality.
Investment in your printed marketing materials pays off, as people will lend more authority to your business with high-quality finishes on your printed materials.
5. Be Consistent
A common problem seen by our design team is that of consistency. Whether it’s the use of a Facebook URL on some communications but then a website on others, or inconsistency in the use of colours, these glaring alternatives will say to your customers that you haven’t thought your business through.
If you have a website, it’s worth paying to own the domain instead of the free version. For example, many businesses start out with a Wordpress website. The free version will be mycompany.wordpress.com as a domain – but for a bit of extra cash per year you can be mycompany.com. This can do wonders for your brand image and consistency across all of your advertising and media.
Lastly, have a clear plan for your printed marketing materials, and keep it consistent across each one. Use the same contact information, paper stocks, lamination finishes, and graphics, and you’ll feel like there’s much greater cohesion across your materials that’ll boost the impression you make.
What are your top tips for creating marketing materials? Join in the conversation with #instantprintuk