Insider Tips for Good Design
By Lynn Angle
When it comes to doors, windows, siding and stone, are you picky about design? We are too! At ProVia we care about every detail in the design of our products, and we carefully craft them to deliver lasting beauty for the home. In my corner of the ProVia world, I work with our team to make sure the graphic design we use – in everything from brochures to our website – not only looks good, but also communicates as effectively as possible. Again, it’s form AND function. We often get questions from our dealers about how to incorporate good design practices for their own businesses, so here I’ll share some of the insider tips we use every day.
1. Less is More
In the story of your company and its products, there’s soooo much to tell. So why not squeeze as much information as possible into a brochure or an ad? Remember, one of the most important jobs with your marketing is to help people find and learn information about you. And when the page is densely crammed with words and pictures, readers have to work hard to sort through all that stuff to find out what’s important to them.
Tip #1: Resist the temptation to crowd your pages. Allow for blank areas – what we designers call “white space.” This allows the eye to come to rest on the key messages on the page. You might think more is better, but actually less is more powerful.
2. Be Selective About Fonts
With all the fonts you can choose for your design, it’s easy to go a little crazy. I often see several fonts used on a single page. While this may seem more creative and is intended to jazz-up the design, too many fonts confuse the reader’s eye. With all that going on, the eye doesn’t know where to go first – and the result could be that readers simply go away.
Tip #2: Your design goal is to lead readers from the most important thing on the page down to the details. Select two fonts and stick with them. It’s best to use a sans serif font for headlines (this provides emphasis), and a serif font for body copy (for easy reading).
3. Create “Message Chunks”
While every word you craft for your marketing message is highly important to you, remember it’s not as important to your reader. The key here is not to push too much information at them right away. Many times, all a reader sees is the headline, pictures, and maybe some bullet information. If they like what they see, they’ll dig deeper. If not…goodbye reader!
Tip #3: Make sure your key messages are in the headlines, photos and captions, and bullet copy. Give readers bite-sized pieces of information that stimulate interest, so they spend more time with your information.
4. Logos Matter…a LOT
Your logo is the recognizable face of your company, so always make room to include it. It’s also a symbol of your organization’s credibility and professionalism, so handle your logo with great care.
Tip #4: Protect the quality of your logo at all times. Keep in mind that a logo copied from a website can’t be used for print, because the resolution isn’t high enough. Obtain a high-resolution logo file so it will be crisp and clean on printed materials.
5. Pictures Create Emotion
The power of pictures cannot be underestimated. They bring products to life and create emotional connections with your audience. That old saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words” is true, and very powerful.
Tip #5: Combine beauty shots of products with lifestyle shots that show the product in action in a setting with people. It’s a proven fact that people respond more strongly to images with people in them. Use this to your advantage.
6. Keep It Together
Consistency is an important consideration that can make or break your marketing efforts. The image of your products and company should look the same across all your mediums, and should be kept up to date. Old or inconsistent materials project a confusing message, or even worse, an unprofessional image.
Tip #6: Take a look at your website and your printed materials. Do they look like they come from the same company? Also, make sure the logos you’re using are up to date.
And finally, remember…we’re here to help! Your ProVia account manager will be happy to assist with any questions you may have. You can also get easy access to ProVia’s high-resolution pictures and logos by logging in to entryLINK, then scroll down and click on "Graphic Download Center."
Got design questions? Bring ‘em on! Comment below and share your thoughts – great design is one of our favorite topics.
Very nice! A lot more interesting than balancing budgets!! Now I know who to go to when I start my blog. Great ideas and layout.