The value of good graphic design to your bottom line:
Good graphic design is worth its weight in gold; while just about anyone can organise the printing of documents, if they don’t look business-like, eye-catching and professional you may well be wasting your money. A little bit of extra time and budget spent on design of your printed literature and sales collateral will usually completely transform the item and pay dividends in terms of the item’s return on investment (R.O.I.).
A good designer will pitch just the right look and ‘feel’
Making the overall design attractive is, of course, essential. This is where the designer’s visual flair will really come into its own. However part of the initial brief should also include reference to the desired ‘feel’ of the finished piece, for example should it look clean and contemporary, high tech and cutting-edge, quirky and unusual, or perhaps more traditional? The answer can have a profound affect on the perception of the final printed piece so the importance and skill involved in good graphic design should not be underestimated.
Get the right message(s) across, at a glance
A talented graphic designer, it should be noted, does not only concentrate on the look, design and feel of printed documents. They also weigh up which parts of the copy, design, graphics and overall message are the most important i.e. which elements should be given the primary visual focus, to grab the attention first … and similarly which elements should be part of any secondary message … and so on. Hence, good graphic designers weigh up how important each element or message is, and style them accordingly so that the onlooker picks up the sales messages in the “right” order and each with the right level of perceived importance. The handling of this can mean the difference between the success … or failure … of the printed item as a marketing tool.
Employing techniques to stand out in the crowd
Aside from creating an attractive and eye-catching design, other ways to catch the attention include:
- A great special offer, discount or ‘Sale’ price;
- Time-sensitivity: a time-sensitive special offer may make people act on impulse and avoid putting off their buying decision until later;
- Creating demand: making it clear there is limited availability of the product or service;
- Creating desire: somehow making the product or service seem highly desirable (the graphical equivalent of what Apple do with their groundbreaking product design);
- Including an element of surprise: this may be part of the overall sales strategy and design, for example an eye-catching photo or illustration, or …
- Catching the eye with an attention-grabbing headline.
The power of great copy
With regard to the final option above, high quality, well thought out copywriting goes hand in hand with a good visual design. Including an eye-catching main headline and compelling messages in the body text take time to get right and should therefore be afforded an appropriate budget. Sub-headings can also be used to great effect so that people can pull out key messages and points of interest in the most appropriate order, even at a glance (we’ve used the same approach in this article). As with graphic design, there is a skill to keeping text (‘copy’) concise enough to understand the core message(s) only after a quick glance, but detailed enough on a closer inspection so as to tell the prospect everything they need to know in order to make a buying decision. The last thing you want to do is to confuse your potential audience with messages which are all fighting for attention, so this weighing up and balancing of the various elements is very important.
Don’t forget the call to action
The inclusion of a link to the most appropriate web page (which, by the way, is not always the home page) or perhaps a PDF download link for greater detail should the onlooker require it, can also be useful to the prospect. A call-to-action is also recommended even if it’s simply in the form of an invitation to get in contact e.g. via a telephone number, perhaps email address, web link and possibly a postal address if that’s appropriate for the service or product being offered. The phone number and web link should usually be the most prominent of the contact details. Where appropriate you can also consider including a link to a sign-up of some kind (opt-in mailing lists are worth their weight in gold for future marketing activity) and perhaps even a special time-sensitive offer or voucher code with a clear expiry date may encourage the prospect to act fast.
Our graphic designers are on tap for you!
If you don’t have your own in-house graphic designer, don’t worry, because Firstpoint Print have a team of graphic designers at your disposal — graphic design is a service offered by all 3 London branches of Firstpoint Print. With branches at Clerkenwell (020 7490 7588), London Bridge (020 7378 6754) and Victoria (020 7828 0515) we are sure to have one near you if you’re in or close to London, although in today’s high tech, interconnected world our design team can work for anyone, pretty much wherever they may be. And we know printing like the back of our hands so you can be sure that your items will not only look the part, but will also convey the right message and be printed to perfection, whether via litho, digital or large format printing process. Contact your closest Firstpoint Print branch or send us your printing enquiry here.