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Why Design top tips: Graphic design

Useful information to include in a brief

Provide examples
It's always helpful for a designer to see examples of designs you like and to hear the reasons why.

Explain your goal, not the solution
For example, rather than saying "I need a brochure" consider saying. "I would like a way in which I can promote a diverse range of products to a wide audience". The second approach allows you to benefit from the designer's experience. It may be that the best way of achieving your goal is through an ad campaign linked with your website rather than a brochure.

Know your audience
Providing us with as much information as you can about your target audience is essential. Age, gender, habits, interests and profession all play a major role in speaking successfully to your potential customers.

Supply existing artwork where possible
All information should be provided digitallly. Word documents are fine, as is email but always supply the original JPEGS for images. Hhigh resolution images are needed for print work - images downloaded from websites won't be good enough quality. If you are asking the designer to work with an existing brand or design try to supply the original artwork files along with any logos.

You should always start with a 'flat plan'

The first question you'll always get asked is, "How many pages?". Of course, it's very difficult to know this without planning it first. Brochures are printed in groups of 4 (4, 8, 12, 16 pages etc). Sketching out your brochure as a series of thumbnails is called a 'flat plan' and is a fantastic way to work what content goes where and in which order.

flat plan

Headlines get noticed

Decades of newspaper reading have taught us to look for headlines. We look for them to get an idea of what to read. We scan the subheads to pick up on the key points. Powerful, punchy headlines get noticed and read. You should also make your lead article interesting. This is critical. If the main article is dull you can, you've lost the readers attention and you won't get it back!

Successful advertising

A successful ad campaign should always focus on one message and this is usually your unique selling point (USP) i.e. what is different about your product or your service? Also remember to tell people what you do - even if your competitors do exactly the same thing. Explaining your process in a clear and concise way engages your audience and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Understanding colour theory

Many clients underestimate the role that colour plays in their decision, often choosing colours based on their own preference.

fast food brands

Red is thought to convey hunger and therefore is it any coincidence that nearly all the major fast food restaurants incorporate red in their brand?!

However, did you realise that colour can actually provoke an emotional reaction? For example, blue conveys a feeling of professionalism, reliability and trust, whereas orange conveys warmth, fun and creativity. Sound silly? Consider this - red is thought to convey hunger and therefore is it any coincidence that nearly all the major fast food restaurants incorporate red in their brand?!

Tell the recipient what to do

It's really important that not only does your piece of marketing material attract attention in a unique and interesting way but it should also include a clear 'call to action'. The recipient needs to know how to respond whether it's by email, phone or web, it should be clearly highlighted.

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