Designing a banner, roller banner or large format poster

hand_mouse.jpg&colour=ffffffGraphic design is a vast subject, it takes many years to master this art with so many different Medias and applications. To a new comer as I well know it can be very exhausting trying to find not only creative inspiration but also the knowledge of using the software tools.

This article will hopefully help budding new designers or even experienced designers in search of that extra knowledge. Below are some tips how to design for large format, roller banners and billboards.

Use large fonts for headlines in main titles, the title is the main heading and is usually the first point of contact with potential customers. There are two main things to consider with headlines;

  1. Make the headline provocative, it should entice the reader to read further and digest the rest of the content. Try to avoid confusing or over elaborate fonts, you don’t want readers to struggle with headlines.
  2. Ask questions of the readers to encourage interaction with you, for example have you seen a headline like; Graphic designers required, whereas a headline
    Do you want to be a graphic design?
    Is more of a leading question to entice the reader to get in contact.

Designs your graphics at high resolution make sure you export your files as 300dpi (dots per inch). When designing for large format roller banners or hoardings you can create your file at ¼ of the size to ease the use of Photoshop. A very large file in Photoshop can take huge timescales to save down or export. ¼ size files can also be up scaled in resolution to 400dpi to allow for increases to sizes.

Use colour mode CMYK, why use CMYK? Because this is the standard 4-colour process for printing mode. RGB is only used for screen purposes such as web design and graphics that are only viewed on a computer screen. Keep your memory free, using Photoshop layers can clog up the computer memory, it is good code of practice to delete any unused layers or graphics that you are not using. I have fallen in the trap of duplicating image layers only to find I have duplicated it a few times with a large image on each layer as 50mb each. This can cause issues with saving and sometimes crashes Photoshop so beware of unused or duplicated layers.

How to use social media for business

Using social media is one of the easiest forms of marketing available today, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name a few are relatively easy to set up and reach potential new customers.

Facebookthemix

Facebook started off in the early days as simple social tool, users would post photos, write posts and generally chit chatter socially in groups. It didn’t take a scientist to realise that Facebook has a huge potential in marketing business, pages were launched and business profiles built for businesses.

Twitter

Twitter was also predominately used as a social tool, friends and family tweeting posts, news and gossip with ease. It can be used as a powerful marketing tool, not necessarily to sell products but more as a brand awareness tool. Twitter is a great way to keep customers up to date on what you are doing as a business. You can tweet offers or send latest news about what is happening in the trade.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another powerful social media tool when used correctly, Twitter and Facebook was invented for social purposes unlike LinkedIn which was designed for businesses. LinkedIn is the ideal tool for businesses to reach potential customers or simply raise your brand.

Play it safe

Using social media is great for business but use carefully assume your clients are seeing everything you are posting, make sure to keep your personal and business social media separate the last thing you want is a client seeing what a great weekend you had letting your hair down in the local pub. Post only business news and be professional always when using links or external websites.

These social media tools are extremely powerful ways to communicate with clients or prospects. To make use of these networks it does take time and effort but the rewards will follow once the leads come in and doors open for your business.

How to increase your websites conversion rates?

website_conversionsIs your website working for your business? Do you find customers reach your site but never complete orders or you receive emails about problems with the website? Below are some useful tips to help your website achieve great conversion success.

Google Analytics

It’s a great and very powerful tool, and best of all it’s free, yes free! Google analytics has been used by web marketers for many years, it can track basic visits to detailed journeys from customers. Google also offers ecommerce tracking facilities, you can track shoppers from when they first land on the site to which products they visit. Grab a copy through your Gmail account, if you don’t have one set one up.

Tracking with Clickheat

Click heat is a free heat map statistics tool, great tool to show you where your visitors travel on your site. Do they miss the registration button or cannot find the add to cart and checkout buttons.

Click Mapping helps provide an invaluable insight into what your site traffic do and what they are thinking.

Survey’s and feedback
No one knows better than the customer about your site and what they found useful or an annoyance.

Don’t be afraid to ask customers for feedback, they can help give valuable information about what works and doesn’t work.

Study your competition

Seems obvious, study your successful competitors what they do well and copy it. Use their good points and improving the bad is a good strategy in the short-term.

Top sellers landing pages
If you have a list of top sellers create a specific landing page for them. People will feel reassured knowing that other customers have bought the product they have interest in.

Call to action

Place Telephone numbers and email addresses predominately on every page not just on your contact us page. Customers feel safer knowing if there is a problem they can simply drop you a line or send an email, although nine times out of ten customers tend to use contact forms rather than call.

Powerful marketing tips for the small business

pwfulmarkMarketing needn’t be rocket science or indeed anything to be scared of, to get the word about you just need to be a little creative.

Rob Steele – marketer for roller banners looks at some of the best tips.

Fully integrated marketing techniques – Try varying your marketing don’t get stuck in a rut by employing just one. Social media, press adverts, press releases and classified adverts.

Communicate with potential customers in different ways will help to keep the potential customers digest your marketing and not find it tedious.

Create customer loyalty – When a customer purchases a product, strike while the iron is hot and send them an offer or discount. Thank the customer for their business and offer a discount with expiry date to encourage a spend.

Direct mail – some businesses or marketers think this is old school marketing but in my opinion it works even today. Produce a nice designed leaflet or flyer and mail it out to your customers. Why not send your customers a brochure whilst sending the product, saves on postage and could increase further spend.

E-news – Cheapest option there is for marketing, sending customers e-shots to the subscribed email address keeps them in touch and can also increase repeat visits to your website. Add a subscribe form to your website home page, add an offer if they sign up today to encourage sign ups.

Go social media – keep your brand in front of the customer each time you have a new product or service to offer, tweet regular and keep followers in touch with your brand.

Go easy though on how much tweeting and face booking as it might become annoying.

Gumtree – advertise on gumtree, its free and has lots of free traffic. Gumtree also ranks high in google searches.

How to create an air tight graphic design brief

many small light bulbs equal big oneHow do I get the design I want?
By creating a good brief for the designer.
Whether you’re working with a designer on a promotional project, flyer, logo or leaflet. Getting the design you want is all down to the brief you give to your designer.

Business profile
A designer won’t necessarily know your business, write a business profile you can send to the designer. Include a brief history, summary and a list of your products/services you offer.

Targeted audience
Know your audience, who you are targeting and the demographic, location, age and gender.

Market position
Know your position in the market, who your main competitors are and what makes your company different from the competition.

Project objectives
What is it you would like designed? Flyer, poster, website mailer?

What would you like to achieve with the marketing?

Provide all specifications for the designer, size, orientation (portrait or landscape).

Main objective
Why you require graphic design, is it a new product?

Are you trying to promote a new service?

Content
Who is providing content, are you supplying the copy and leaving the designer to select a stock photo from a library.

Your brand and company history
Give the designer a history if possible of your previous marketing, tell them what has worked and what hasn’t.

Your taste
Let the designer know your tastes, it is important they know the style you like and don’t so they don’t waste time on visual mock-ups only to find out that the style doesn’t suit.

Suggest a deadline
Deadlines are important, too tight and they restrict the designers creativity, discuss what deadline is feasible and what is too tight.

Budget
Discuss the budget, gather quotes from your chosen shortlist of designers.
Remember to look at their previous work, does their own style fit the bill.

Creating a successful Poster marketing Campaign

piranha_french_poster-270x300To be a success a poster campaign needs to reach the targeted audience in a short time frame. A successful campaign really depends on a number of key elements. Below are some tips to consider:

Who is the audience you wish to target?
Where are they and where would you find them?
How do you measure the return on investment?

Audience

What can motivate your audience to use your services or buy your product’s? How will you use the poster copy to demonstrate your business as problem solver for them?

Location

Where will you position your poster, a poor or error on location will only result in a poor return on investment. Do some research into a prime location and whether this would suit your chosen audience?

Find a good Graphic designer

Ok so you have the message and the call to action, you have done your homework into gathering information from the call to action to report if the campaign has been successful. Next step, get a good graphic designer preferably one with large format poster design. A poster looks great on a computer screen but most certainly different on a bus stop.

Gather quotes

Online printers usually have quote calculators on their websites for quick quotes unless the spec is really bespoke a quick call may be required. Some printers have good feedback and testimonials, these are the best ones to select. Be sure to check if your printer includes proofs and is proof read for you. Some printers don’t include these services and simply just print the artwork they have received, if your budget requires it is important to select a printer that has a good reputation in the print industry. Any reputable printer will have testimonials and a portfolio of their previous work.