All 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.
For example, a powerful brochure design will more likely to be read, remembered and respected. Here are five simple, but essential tricks of the designer’s trade that you can use immediately, at little cost, to improve your brochure design.
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 brochure design to create a consistent look.
2. Jazz up your layout so your most important points stand out
Break up monotonous lines of text with attractive “pull quotes” or “call-outs,” which make critical information stand out on the page. To create a pull quote, just copy a provocative or challenging statement from your text and paste it into a different position on the page using large, contrasting type. Add decorative quotation marks, border it with lines, or place it inside a box to jazz it up.
3. Repeat certain elements
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. Repeat specific graphic elements such as boxes, banners, and rule lines throughout the piece. A word of caution: When you review your work, make sure you’ve used all of these design elements consistently.
4. Pay attention to proximity
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. When you review your work, make sure you’ve applied this spacing consistently throughout.
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 which 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.
Written by Karen Saunders. She is the author of Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools! Hundreds of business owners have used her simple do-it-yourself design system to create stunning marketing materials that really SELL their products and services! Look up her stuff at macgraphics.net