This week we thought we’d lighten the mood and take a jovial look at 9 things that you should never ask of your graphic design studio for fear of them running screaming from the building and off into the sunset.
1. Make it bigger.
All too often as designers we receive the request to make the logo or the type bigger. To a non designer the most obvious way to make something stand out is to make it bigger. However often surrounding it with white space can be just as effective (see point 9 on white space). Unless your target market has poor eyesight, large logos and text often cheapens the overall design rather than making things stand out more.
2. Too many fonts in one document is like wearing a mardi gra costume to a board meeting.
Nothing says party quite like 7 fonts in one design. For consistency (and to avoid having your communication pieces look like you let the work experience kid at them) it is advisable to use no more than 2-3 fonts that complement your logo design and overall brand identity. So, for example if you are targeting a corporate market, avoid the use of comic sans and brush script. Which brings us to our next point…
3. Comic Sans is only ok to use on children’s birthday invites (and maybe christmas bbq invites).
There we said it. Sure it’s fun and friendly, but so are kids parties.
4. Keep it consistent.
A consistent visual identity makes your business look more professional and legitimate. Take a look at brands like Tiffany & Co and McDonalds for example. These brands have become so well known that people can identify the company by their colour scheme or logo. Every communication piece (from the store fitout to the website, packaging, advertising etc) works in unison: the logo, colors, font, and layout are consistent across all materials.
5. People can tell when you DIY.
It might save you money to design and print your own logo and marketing material, but it might also cost you customers. When comparing your product or service with a competitor who has professionally designed marketing material, consumers will often pick the brand that they feel most confident with, even if it means paying a few dollars more. And trust us, people can tell when you DIY.
6. Just because you don’t like orange, doesn’t mean your customers won’t.
Trust us. We’ve spent years studying and working with type and colour and we know what works. So pop your personal preference in the bottom draw of your filing cabinet let us look at your brand and make recommendations.
7. Customers don’t always want to read a novel.
Sure you have a lot you want to tell potentual customers, but make sure it’s not at the cost of being dismissed for too lengthy a read. In a time poor society, often we have a very small window to grab attention and tell people who we are and what we can do for them. There is always an appropriate time and place for long copy, just not on the first page of your website or jammed into a DL brochure. Remember our point about white space?
8. We are not Microsoft Word or Publisher gurus
As designers we work with the Adobe Creative Suite, a group of applications built specifically for logo design, web design, image retouching and desktop publishing. These applications are industry standard and most reputable printers will not accept files from Word or Publisher. Often the mere thought of working in Microsoft Word will give a designer a migraine, and Publisher… lets not even go there!
9. White space is your friend.
Designers love it, clients want to fill it. When designers talk about white space, they actually mean negative space. In other words the space between elements. This space doesn’t necessarily need to be white, but either way it is space void of type or imagery. Believe it or not white space between paragraphs and around blocks of text actually helps people understand what they are reading better. According to research (we read it somewhere), this kind of white space increases comprehension by almost 20%. White space is also a great way to communicate elegance and freshness.