Top tips on creating great marketing communications material


Great design attracts attention, presents information in a manner suited to the content and the intended readers and helps to maintain readers’ interest.

Equally important to how your marketing communications material looks is how well it reads and whether the content is engaging, gets the message across and stimulates action.

When deciding how to layout a document, a typical approach for graphic designers is to determine which elements are visual cues and signposts, which are content and which could be attractors.  They then determine for each of these elements the size and position that will promote the product or service in the best way.

Consider the following points when producing your next newsletter, brochure or other form of marketing communication.  They will help you produce a piece of material that stands out from the crowd and gets the result you are looking for:-

  • make sure it is attractive – colours, images and faces all command attention.
  • content also attracts attention but it has to be the “right” content dressed in the “right” way
  • when laying out your page, think about how you can make your subject matter more appealing.  Creating visual interest could involve presenting an odd juxtaposition of two or more objects, colours or images; providing an unusual view or odd detail and enlarging something that is normally small (or making something that is normally large, small)
  • content, particularly headlines, needs to be engaging to encourage readers to read more.  People scan information and sift and make choices without necessarily being aware of how quickly they make their selections.
  • the need for speed sometimes translates into a call for visual simplicity, brevity and clarity.  Remember that a design doesn’t need to be complex to be attractive
  • be mindful of how people read a document when designing it.  Images and illustrative material are generally skimmed first, then captions, then headings and labels and finally the text.  Colour, relative size and positioning are the main determinants for an attractive document that commands the greatest attention
  • people have different physiological responses to colour and therefore colour differentiation influences how a reader reads a document.  Eyes are attracted to bright colours first because they stand out more and pay less attention to dark, muted colours because they appear to fade into the background.
  • readers are also attracted to larger type size first because it’s easier to read before moving on to the smaller print.  So where you position larger elements has a big influence on how a layout is read.

When deciding where to place content, including visuals and text, it’s important to be mindful of how people read a document.  With printed material, readers typically start at the top left hand corner and exit at the bottom right. 

Readers of a double page spread start at the top right hand corner as they open the page and then sweep over the layout, moving across to the top left to recommence reading and finally exiting at the bottom right.

This reading flow is invariably interrupted by the placement of different items and their colour and size which can force readers to jump from one interest point to another.

If you need advice on how to layout your marketing communications material, send us an email.  We’ve got experts on hand who can point you in the right direction.

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