Never underestimate the power of graphic design. It has the power to either make or break your sales and marketing efforts. Too many people dismiss design as an unnecessary expense but, in reality, it is incredibly important to your bottom line. As such, it deserves an adequate allowance of both time and budget otherwise you risk wasting both those precious commodities entirely. In this post, we’ll explain why skimping on your graphic design budget may represent a fool’s economy. Not convinced? Read on …
Think about it for a moment: what is the single most important thing that world-dominating companies like Apple have at their core? Answer: excellent design. Without that, their products would simply be buried in an ocean that’s littered with hundreds of mediocre products. Excellent design lifts them high above the competition and also makes their products desirable. And once converted, famously few Apple customers ever go back.
It’s the same for printed sales and marketing pieces, adverts and packaging. Looking mediocre is a sure fire way for your promotional efforts to be completely overlooked in the ‘din’ of other mediocre efforts that compete in your marketplace. Excellent design, in contrast, will both attract and entice your potential audience so they notice and desire your product or service, not those of your competitor. Yet so many companies miss this simple opportunity by seeing design as an unnecessary expense rather than the incredibly powerful marketing tool that it is!
Let’s break down the main components of graphic design …
Good Design = Good Communication
Graphic design is about much more than how your sales and marketing pieces look. Good graphic design primarily has great communication at its heart. It’s all very well if your leaflet, brochure, poster or packaging looks attractive, but that’s no good to anyone if they don’t understand, in an instant, what it’s all about and what is on offer. So, one of the first considerations of any good graphic designer is to identify what the core message is and then to communicate that message prominently to the prospective audience. A good graphic designer will also pick out any secondary and subsequent message elements, making sure that each is communicated with the appropriate weighting in the sales or marketing piece. Using this hierarchical approach to the prominence of elements and messages will mean that the prospective customer knows where to look first and thereby learn quickly what is being offered and why.
Good graphic design primarily has great communication at its heart.
Features & Benefits
Once the product or service being offered has been made clear, another job of a good graphic designer is to make sure that the features and benefits of the product or service are also clearly communicated to those taking a closer look. Features are no good alone, of course; the prospect needs to know how those features will benefit them — so don’t forget to include your product or service’s benefits in the printed text.
Then, of course, the printed communication needs to look eye-catching and attractive. The right graphical and typographical styles, photos and/or illustrations need to be presented in such a way that they catch the eye, communicate all the right messages as outlined above, all in a pleasing way. The ‘tone’ of the design also needs to be right. If your product or service is a luxury one, then the design and printed output needs to ooze quality. If your product or service is an inexpensive bargain, then the designer needs to pitch the design just right so that it looks high quality overall but does not look or feel too expensive. This fine balance is all part of the job of a good graphic designer.
Part of that balance is, of course, the paper, card and print processes used in the final printing. Some printed items look better on textured papers and cards, others work better on uncoated stock and still others might look best on standard paper with, say, a matt lamination. There are many paper options and many finishing options to choose from, so good graphic designers will also be able to advise on what might work best for your particular product or service — and production budget. The optimum result will be a printed item that both looks and feels good, without breaking the bank.
It’s All a Waste without a CTA
Once all of the above has been considered, then you’re well on your way to ‘converting’ your prospect’s interest into an actual sale. However, there’s one more thing that needs to be included. Remember to communicate what the prospect needs to do next. So, great graphic designers will also ensure that there is a section on the printed sales or marketing piece that encourages the onlooker to do something, e.g. to contact you, the supplier, or to fill in an order form, or to visit a website or other location where the product or service can be purchased. Without that Call to Action (‘CTA’), the entire process has been a wasted opportunity.
A Balancing Act
So, great design for printed promotional literature is a fine balancing act on the part of the graphic designer and any copywriter involved. Indeed, more often than not, a good graphic designer may identify areas where the copy needs to be fine-tuned a little once the design stage has commenced and all the elements have begun to be placed into position.
Professional Graphic Design Help in London SE1
If your company or organisation does not have in-house design and artwork capabilities, then we have a high quality, affordable solution for you. Southside Print has in-house graphic designers who produce high quality design and artwork day in, day out for our clients. It’s a core part of what we do here at Southside Print, along with printing of course. We don’t mind whether you have a clear visual and completed text at the ready, or come in with just a rough sketch and a few notes about what you’re looking to achieve. Either way, our designers will work their magic and turn your ideas into a work of art — and a great communication tool to boot. Alternatively, you may produce the design and finished artwork entirely yourself — and that’s fine too. If it’s print-ready, your artwork file can be uploaded to our systems here.
For professional graphic design help, call us on 020 7378 6754 or contact us here and we’ll be delighted to help. You can also request a design and/or printing quotation here, without pressure or obligation. If you live or work in London Bridge, Borough or the SE1 region of south east London, you are welcome to drop in to discuss your next design and/or printing project with us. We’re at 27 Tabard Street, not far from the junction of the A2 and A2198.