Good Design Makes Good Sense

Organized your pencils and pens lately? Sorted your clothes into a logical system in your drawers? Then you already understand the basic elements of good design: it's practical, it's systematic, and it makes life easier.

In the same way, marketing materials that use good design make business easier for your customers. Layout and presentation make the difference as to whether people will understand your products and services. This is why a well-designed ad outperforms one that's thrown together using intuition alone.

Well-designed materials become even more important as their complexity grows. For instance, an ad typically gets someone's attention for five seconds. In contrast, a brochure has the potential to claim much more of your prospect's time and commitment. Hand a customer a poorly-formatted, hard-to-read piece and you may lose them forever.

So is good design really as simple as organizing your tie collection? Well, not quite. But there are some hard and fast rules you can follow. Use this checklist for your next project. Structure and time your piece correctly, and then brace yourself for every businessperson's dream: informed customers who are ready to do business with your company.

Five Basics of Good Design

1. Never obscure your message. The KISS (Keep It Simple, Smarty) rule applies equally well to writing copy, creating graphics, and choosing a format.

2. Work backwards from your goal to your marketing piece. Listen to your customers' needs before you make a decision about how to fill them. A website may not initially appeal to you as a tool, but if your customer base is using the Internet, it may be a great way to deliver your message.

3. Present similar kinds of information in similar ways. People love to look for patterns. And we feel good when we find them, so let your customers in on that happy feeling. Chances are it will help them retain your information better and use it more effectively.

4. Save special effects for the 4th of July. Just because you can print in all caps in that cool new font, it doesn't mean you should. Readability wins out over gimmicks every time.

5. Be practical and be dedicated. Consider all the steps involved in a project, from the time you spend creating it all the way through to postage or follow-up calls. Commit to following through on every item or your project may not succeed.

Wendy Gray Maynard is the co-owner of Kinesis. Kinesis specializes in marketing, graphic design, and business writing. Visit http://www.kinesisinc.com for more articles and free marketing wisdom.

Want to harness the power of kinetic marketing? Sign up for Kinesis Quickies, a free bi-monthly marketing e-newsletter: http://www.news.kinesisinc.com

In The News:

Advertise With Us  The Aviation Geek Club
BE Show with Harsh Mariwala  ETBrandEquity.com

3 Things Every Yellow Pages Advertiser Needs to Know

Too many business owners and marketers know that Yellow Pages... Read More

The Benefits of Specific Advertising

The great Claude Hopkins (Author of Scientific Advertising) once said,... Read More

Marketing Tips - Advertising

Typical methods of advertising-newspapers, radio and television are effective if... Read More

A Quick And Easy Way Of Getting More Customers From Every Single Ad You Write... Guaranteed!

FACT: Most people don't spend anywhere near enough time on... Read More

Design Your Own Newspaper Ads

Many people in business lay-out (design) their own ads. That... Read More

If You?re Tired Of Adverts That Don?t Work And Letters That Don?t Sell, Then You Must Read This

Over the 32 years I've been involved in sales, marketing... Read More

Present Your Product On A TV Show for FREE

Would you like to get your new or existing Internet... Read More

Advertising Headlines and How to Write Them

1. Attract prospects with your headline Use your headline as... Read More

Moving Message Display

Moving message display are designed to be installed into environments... Read More

Advertising Your Holistic Business

The most basic answer is the same answer as to... Read More

I Dont Want to be Different

To succeed in today's crowded marketplace where most of the... Read More

Finding Your Target Market

Achieving sales is probably the biggest challenge a web business... Read More

Adding Art to Business Spaces

Larger companies have learned that collecting art adds something special... Read More

How To Create Instantly Compelling Ads Every Time

Use This Quick 3-Question Evaluation Process, So You Can Be... Read More

Top 9 Reasons To Advertise

Advertising is not for every company. But some require it... Read More

7 Tips for Better Ads

The content of advertising is basically the same no matter... Read More

Imprinted Promotional Items ? Their Many Marketing Applications

There are many uses for promotional items. This means that... Read More

11 Ways To Make Your Business Cards Work For You

1. Spend money on decent quality business cards. Home made... Read More

Should You Advertise on TV?

When people discover my background in advertising, the questions flow.... Read More

Does Post Card Advertising Really Work?

You've decided to try advertising your business with post cards.... Read More

If You Invest Money on Advertising, then You could Save Thousands through this Simple Little Secret

A few years ago, I analysed the statistics of where... Read More

Understanding The Basics Of Advertising

I get the L.A. Times delivered to my door every... Read More

How to Advertise with Flyers

When you first start out on your business venture, money... Read More

Not Another Calendar! - Choose Advertising Specialties That Sell

As I was searching through a kitchen drawer the other... Read More

Commercial: Consumer - Discounts - Misleading Advertising

Marketing is an important tool for attracting customers. It is... Read More