After you have considered your color options for your business’ graphic design project (see Graphic Design and Your Business – Part 1), the next thing to consider is the type of design that you want your business presentation materials to have. There are different design types that you can choose from depending on the primary goal of your marketing materials. You may choose to combine any of these to customize your graphic materials to your business requirements.
Choosing your Design
Basically, your design is the overall theme of your graphic design materials. It sets the tone and atmosphere for the information that you will present. It is the environment where you set up viewers to learn about your business and what you offer. This concept of the visual environment is especially apparent in the development of websites. The most important guideline in choosing your design is to make sure that all your graphic materials from the business card, flyer, and brochure to the website have a consistent look and feel. This does not mean that they should all look similar but they should have the same basic elements such as the logo, the colors and even the fonts used even if the layout may vary for each different medium. This way, you project a consistent image in all your business presentation materials. There are some basic questions to ask yourself when choosing your design.
Formal or Informal
First, you have to consider your industry’s standards. Just like in choosing colors, you must decide whether to go with the flow or to deviate from the norm. Your industry may have a uniform code of colors and design standards but you can choose to add a little informal element in your design. A good graphic design company can help you decide on how to blend in some flair to the usual design options of your industry.
However, you can combine the two styles. If you choose a fun, quirky, and therefore, informal graphic design style for your business, this does not necessarily mean that you are projecting a less serious image to your customers. Rather, the fun vibe that you want to project could be a point of interest that will serve as the initial attraction to read your brochure or browse through your website. In this case, the information you present should be utilized to focus more on projecting the sincerity and professionalism in the services or products that you are offering. With the appropriate blend of graphic elements, this kind of combination can work to your business’ advantage.
Textual or Visual
Graphic design is a visual medium. So another matter that you need to consider is the amount of textual information that you can fit into your graphic materials. If you choose to be informative, then a good amount of textual information is necessary. If you can’t put all your related information on the same page, then maybe it is best for you to go visual instead. By visual, we mean the number of images versus text in your graphic material. Visual imagery also includes the moving pictures that you put on your website such as flash presentations or downloadable presentations in the form of short video clips. Sound clips, on the other hand, can be categorized under textual material.
Some information might be too abstract to explain in words and in this case, visual imagery would make a good choice. On the other hand, a lot of images can cause misinformation or disinterest if there is no basic textual information available in your graphic material. Your graphic design provider should be able to help you strike a good balance between the two. They should help you decide which part of your copy is necessary and which images best represents your business’ selling points.
You should also think of ways to maximize the use of your graphic materials. What function can you place as an add-on in your marketing materials? Aside from informing your customers about your business, you should consider how else the brochure or visual presentation can help your business in other ways. This is especially applicable to brochures and websites. You can put in a lot of different functionalities for these graphic design mediums. The following functions may be applicable to any or all of your marketing materials. This can come as part of the brochure itself or as a separate leaflet attached to the brochure. In the case of websites, this can be a part of the menu for the main pages or just a link to another webpage.
- Customer Survey – the brochure or website may serve as a survey form for finding out information about your potential customers or for getting updates on your loyal customers.
- Customer Feedback – the brochure or website may also serve as a survey questionnaire for your customer’s feedback on products and services. You can even specify the product or service that you are taking the survey for.
- Product & Product Development Survey – your graphic design materials could serve as a way for customers to tell you what products they like as well as what products they think you should be offering or give suggestions on how you can improve a service or product.
- Product/Services Updates – your brochure and website could work to provide customers with product and services updates such as new and improved versions of a particular product or new product lines.
- Product Orders/Service Requests – your graphic design materials could serve to directly boost your sales by providing customers with the opportunity to order products or request for your services. This can come in many forms such as an appointment scheduler that they can fax to your office or scan and email to you. Large companies utilize this strategy by sending their loyal customers a free brochure or a product catalogue with an order form that customers can mail back to the company free of charge.
Once you have thought about these considerations and come up with a color and style scheme, your next major decision is to find a graphic design company who can deliver what you need.