Early on in the preparation of any printed marketing materials, and ideally before you contact a designer, it is important to prepare as much content as possible to make the process as efficient as possible and minimise costs. A great first step is to plan in outline and in order the information that will be presented and then prepare, at least in draft form, all the items needed to present the information – text, tables, diagrams, illustrations, graphics and photography.
The first decision to be made about text content is whether you will prepare it yourself or call in a professional copywriter. Whichever route you choose you will need to consider what style and tone you want to use. Do you need to carry out research to ensure facts are correct? Do your customers need a hard sell or would gentle, reasoned persuasion work better? What tone do you want to impart? Authoritative? Friendly?
Once the text is written you will need to carefully check grammar and spelling as any errors or mistakes will convey a lack of professionalism and care. A final thought is to consider whether parts of the information would be better communicated in other ways…
Tables, pie charts, bar charts, histograms and line graphs can all be useful to quickly convey numerical data. A designer can advise when and how these could be used and can create visually attractive versions.
Illustrations, diagrams with annotations, maps, plans and schematics can also help to convey concepts quickly.
You may also wish to consider how you want the reader to be guided through your content and any points you want to emphasise. A graphic designer can come up with all sorts of creative ways to guide the reader, enhance the message and draw them to key points.
Photography is, by far, the most popular and effective way to convey a lot of information quickly. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is very true. It can show the look, design and quality of products as well as their applications. Abstract concepts can also be conveyed such as professionalism, quality and service. Using original, commissioned photography will avoid any copyright and quality issues.
CGIs (Computer Generated Images)
CGIs are an ideal option where photography would be too costly, impractical or impossible. They are ideal for the visualisation of future projects. Cutaways are a great way to show elements that would not normally be seen conventionally.
Consistent application of your visual branding is important to maintain a strong identity for your organisation. It is very useful to have clear guidelines for your visual identity to ensure a consistent, professional presentation of all your marketing materials including printed items.
You may wish to include the logos of other organisations to demonstrate your credentials. It is best if these are obtained at a decent size and resolution to ensure good quality reproduction and that you have all the relevant permissions to use them.
Take all the steps described above for quick progress and to keep costs to a minimum.