Even though the web is where businesses are concentrating their efforts, print collateral is still important for establishing your brand’s credibility, sharing information, and reinforcing your marketing goals off and online. Here are some suggestions to make your collateral design unforgettable and unique in a sea of brochures:
Start with a goal, and stick with it
Whether you are a startup company or well-established and looking to revamp your look, having a goal in mind is the most important way to keep your collateral design from getting off-track. When developing your materials, ask yourself:
What will the collateral be used for? From brand awareness to startup marketing, your collateral needs to be designed with a main goal in mind.
Who is my audience? Are they for potential clients or current customers? Depending on the audience, they might want to know about your strategic plan, the pricing of your products and services, or see testimonials. This will help you narrow down the scope of your collateral design accordingly.
Where will it be used or seen? Think about the atmosphere of a brochure in a waiting room, with a one-on-one client meeting, as a mail piece, or at a trade show. How might you change the information within a collateral package to serve those different needs?
What points do I want to get across? Are you advertising a new product, expanding your current services, or presenting new market research to current investors? Knowing what you want to present will help you make better design choices, such as having a spread of your new product as the main centerpiece. If you find yourself wanting to do multiple things, think if it might be better to present information in separate brochures.
Keep it simple
Simplicity is key for any design project, whether it’s collateral or a website. Aim for layouts that break up text with images and diagrams, and keep things succinct. Each page should have a purpose or plan spelled out beforehand in order to make sure your collateral is purposeful and engaging, without taking too much space or words. Keep the length of your collateral in line with how much your audience will want to read.
Include great photos
Adding professional photography is important to make your service and products stand out. When possible, have a professional photographer take photos of your service or product in action, or the people on your team: this will help your collateral maintain a professional and authentic look to readers. If you have to use stock photos, make sure to choose photos that don’t look like stock; stock photos can take away your authenticity if they look false or obviously generic.
Develop with creative colors, textures, and shapes
Small changes can go a long way into adding creative flavor to your collateral. This can include the colors of self-addressed envelopes, the shape of a business card, or the customized font printed on the front of your collateral folder. Some creative collateral packages we’ve seen also included creative pop-ups in brochures, cut-out graphics, or unconventional bindings or seals (such as wax stamps, hand-stitched binding, and more). Special coatings or embossing various elements can give your collateral a professional look and feel.
Create a bridge between digital and print
Just because your collateral is a physical manifestation of your online presence, doesn’t mean the two can’t mingle. Get your collateral to link to your website or social media by printing your social media handles or QR codes to get readers online. When possible, also design your collateral in-theme with your digital aesthetic–it can help clients recognize your brand readily when they are surfing the net, and can make that connection between your brochure sitting on their desk and the website on their laptop.
Having a successful collateral package can go a long way in helping your brand’s image at your next trade show, client meeting, or mailing. If you need some more inspiration, check out our portfolio.