Avoid These 10 Design Disasters When Creating Your Business' Marketing Materials

by - Date: 2008-07-06 - Word Count: 923 Share This!

Have you ever noticed how many articles there are relating to creating your own marketing materials? These articles concentrate on areas a business owner "should do," offering such clever advice as "know your audience," "say it with pictures" or "write clearly and distinctly." This is not bad advice. However, you should also know what not to do. This article focuses on just that. More specifically, it will address what most 'do-it-yourselfers' are tempted to, but should not do.

What Not to Do When Designing Marketing Pieces Yourself - Avoid these 10 design disasters when you create your own materials.

1. Don't enlarge your logo so that it is the main focus of the page.
Your logo features the name of your company and is important. However, it is not the main point. Remember, people are interested in what you are selling, not who you are. In fact, the smaller your logo, the more established your company will appear. If your customer is interested in what you are selling or promoting, they will look on the marketing material to find where they can purchase the product and/or service.

2. Don't place your logo in the text of your piece.
Of course, it is acceptable to use the name of your company in the text of any of your marketing materials. However, avoid inserting your actual logo into a headline or text of your materials.

3. Don't use too many fonts.
When you begin to build your materials, be sure to use fonts sparingly. Choose one or two fonts to use throughout the materials in order to establish your brand. Your font choices should be consistent with your image and your industry. Note that cursive and creative fonts are often hard to read. Understand your audience's ability to read your materials and ensure that they still stand out.

4. Don't use color indiscriminately.
More color does not necessarily make something more appealing. Often it does just opposite and makes it loud and annoying. When someone screams at you, do you want to listen or run away? The same is true for your materials - you want to ensure your reader reads on and does not stop because of an overuse of color and/or poor design. Most, if not all, of your text should be the same color, preferably black for readability or red for a call to action to key items. For a unique look, try duotone photographs or print in two colors. If you plan to use full color on a piece be sure that you utilize the selected color instead of just using color in your logo, for example, and nowhere else; That would just be costly and a waste of color. On the flip side, try not to use too many colors in the text; For example, I have seen business cards that had 5-7 colors in the text. I found it difficult to read and/or follow and found that nothing stood out.

5. Don't be redundant.
Be sure that you do not repeat the name of your industry or product in your company name, your tagline or your headline throughout a given piece. Potential customers already know your industry. Restating it implies you do not.

6. Don't choose low-quality or low-resolution photography.
A photograph may look great in an album, but unless it features a proper balance of lighting and good composition, it is not print-worthy. Photos need to be at least 300 dpi to render a professional print.

7. Don't fill up every inch of white space on the page.
White space, or negative space, brings focus to what is important on the page. It also and gives the reader's eye a rest. You may have a lot to say, but placing it all into one space creates chaos and minimizes the impact of what is being conveyed to the reader. It will visually overwhelm the reader as well -- think less, not more. Remember, you have a Web site (or should have) that your reader's can visit for more detailed information.

8. Don't focus on the details of your product or service; instead, focus on how it benefits your audience.
Unless your product is extremely technical, make your offering relevant to your audience by emphasizing its benefits, not its features. Otherwise, it would be like going to a party and talking about yourself all night. That is not exactly the best way to win friends or gain customers. Your heading and your message must hit your target market's 'hot buttons' and get them to think about what is in it for them?

9. Don't do exactly what your competitors are doing.
When you are positioning your product, it is important to know your competition. However, do not copy them. Instead, determine what your customers want and what they are attracted to. Stand out without sticking out. If you can take your logo and place it in your competitor's ad and it applies and vice versa then you are not getting creative or unique enough. Your message will look just look like your competitions'. Besides, do you really know if your competitors are getting good response on their ads? Maybe they are not.

10. Don't change design styles with every marketing piece you create.
Strive for a consistent look and feel, keeping the same fonts and logo placement, throughout your marketing campaigns. If you use photos in one ad, do not use just illustrations in another. If you place your logo in the middle of one brochure, do not place in at the top-right corner in another.

Finally, do be clear, clean, compelling and consistent. You will end up looking, and selling, like a pro.

Related Tags: small business, entrepreneur, marketing, business coach, marketing ideas, free marketing, small business coach, business woman, business entrepreneur, free marketing tips, entrepreneur ideas, entrepreneur woman, jump start your marketing

(c) Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing. Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who's helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com

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