Graphic design tips for marketing literature

With the revolution of computers and the software to create graphics many designers think that designers think that good graphic design has declined since the 1990’s. Businesses have been able to buy the professional software to create professional graphics sometimes creating their own marketing literature or hiring a poorly trained designer. To be a good designer is much more than using the filters and shortcuts in the creative software, it’s more about natural talent with keen eye for details. Good design has declined but nether less there are still high quality designers in the field producing some beautiful works of art. Below are some really useful tips on creating professional looking marketing material for your business.

Keep focuses – don’t move the goal posts

Focus on why you are creating your marketing literature, which the intended audience is and what you are trying to achieve. It is important to keep sight on your goals and the actions you want from the piece.

Design takes time and forward planning it won’t happen overnight, but some hard work and focus should create a professional piece. Draw out a plan, what is the main focus of the piece, consider say your home or a room, is it planned out so certain things go in certain places.

Design is exactly this, plan the piece every piece of content has its place. Once you start laying out the piece, adding the copy and imagery it doesn’t take long before the piece starts to take shape, use relevant photos if you have lots of photos use them quite small, single photos look better large grabbing the audience’s attention when they enter the page.  Research has shown most readers focus on images when entering a page.

There are some great royalty free stock libraries online to find good professional photography without breaking the bank or budget.

Rules of design

Place the most important content on the top of your piece, least important down toward bottom of page in a descending order of importance. Keep headings clear and precise, sub headers smaller in type size. Stick to the rules of professional designs, only 3 fonts per page.

If you apply these rules your marketing literature will not only look professional but do the job it is intended for.

Litho vs Digital print – war is on

Litho print or lithographic printing has always been a dark field to me, although I work as a graphic designer professionally I can honestly say that I only know the real basics of this field.

That is until I worked in-house at a litho printers, it truly opened my eyes to the problems these guys have with files from ignorant graphic designers. Some files even landed on them without bleeds, trim, and RGB photos to name a few mistakes.

I don’t believe I am a master in the field of litho print but I have learnt over the years by stepping into their toes and how this has helped me create artwork from a different perspective. So do all designers need to learn printing, no certainly not but they need to get to grips with the basics to make their projects run smoother and avoid errors.

Litho print – how it works

Litho print uses a plate to transfer the image to the printed media, the plates are broken down into four colour separations known as CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Litho print is extremely good for medium and long runs, digital printing is much more suitable to shorter runs. Litho comes with a price on setup but once you get to large runs the cost comes down dramatically. If you have a colour critical job get a proof from the printers, these are usually run off through a postscript rip. The colours on a printers proof will be very close to the final job, don’t rely on pdf’s on screen as colours can change dramatically.

Digital print

Digital print differs from litho print in the way it recreates an image, digital printing creates an image by using pixels to build it up. Litho print recreates the image from the original. Digital printed images are made by tiny drops of ink on the media.

Digital printing wins the war with short runs, less expensive than litho with absolutely no set up costs involved. What you see on the screen is what will be printed, digital print doesn’t require the extra costs of proofs.  Litho costs are cheaper when printing run volumes are over 1000.