I was recently asked to design an ad for a local insurance agent. The ad is going to go into a small booklet that will be passed out at an awards luncheon. The booklet will be printed in black and white, contain the agenda, the
names of the nominees and ads by local sponsors. The luncheon will be held in a local hotel ballroom, and the guests will probably leaf through the booklet while they wait for lunch to be served. They may take it home, but the sad fact is that many will leave the booklets behind.
Armed with this knowledge, I designed a simple ad with very simple graphics, large and easy-to-read print. I used a lot of white space and kept the text to a minimum (and kept my charges quite reasonable).
Answering a Few Simple Questions Can Help
Answering a few simple questions before writing a word or adding the first graphic will help anyone who designs or writes anything for themselves or others produce the most effective piece. Here are just a few questions to consider:
- The audience. Are you aiming at potential or repeat customers? Where in the “sales funnel” does the majority of your audience fall? Do most of the people who see the piece know you? What demographic are you targeting? How much time will people spend looking at the piece?
- The Purpose. Is it meant to convey a lot of information? Or is it a “billboard” piece, letting people know you exist? Is it an amusing post, meant to engage people? Is it a technical piece, meant to engage others in your field or increase your credibility?
- The technology. Will this be a print piece? Or published online? If it is print, will it be produced in black and white or color? Will the printing be done digitally?
- The venue. Will the printed piece be passed out an event? Will it be a high-end direct mail piece to select people? Or sent as a “broadcast” piece to a large group? If it is going “online” will it be on the website as a “Call to Action?” Will it be posted on a blog? A Facebook Page?
These are just a few of the questions that should be answered in order to use your time, energy and money wisely. Can you think of other questions?