Intro: If you have a small business you have likely…
When it comes to creating an effective piece of marketing material, it pays to have some idea about the basics of design and print.
Many people do create and design their own and this can be a great idea, especially when the budget is tight. Roller banner displays are an effective way of getting your message across but if they are poorly designed, with the wrong content and the wrong colours, etc., the message can be lost.
· The size of the banner
The first thing that impact on what you can create is the size of the banner that you opt for. However, you need to keep a sense of scale and proportion. Just because you opt for the biggest size possible, doesn’t mean it can be flooded with information and graphics.
Invariably, what will dictate how big your banners are will be your budget. There is also the possibility that ordering two smaller banners may be better than one big one. Consider what it is you want to achieve with your banners, and where you will be putting them.
· Struggling with overall design ‘look’?
Graphic design is something that professionals take many years to study and master. There are all kinds of small adjustments that make a bigger psychological impact on how the customer perceives a piece of design and knowing this can help in how you create yours.
There are many examples of downloadable templates online that can provide a great blank canvas and helping you to shape your banner, as well as with placement of text, logo and graphics.
Top tip – you may or may not be aware that for every item designed and printed, from the smallest business card to the biggest banner, there is an area known as the bleed area. Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document that has images or text that touch the edge of a page. This means that the design extends beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin around the edge. When a design is printed from edge to edge, it can look jumbled and unframed.
· Colours matter
The use of colour on a banner is important. However, this does not mean that you can simply add every colour known to man and hope that your message stands out!
A rule of thumb is to choose two main, contrasting but complementary colours, and a third colour that is used sparingly to emphasise key points or elements.
You will have a logo and possibly a set of colours that are part of your branding. Unless you are creating something that is meant to be completely differently, and then you should stick to the colours that your brand represents.
Emphasise key points with darker colours as the eye is more able to rest on dark colours on a lighter background. Choose colours wisely, as lighter and gentler colours are lost in big print.
Top tip – white space is a concept that few people realise exists but it is important in the field of graphic design. This does not necessarily mean that space has to be white but more than the design of the poster means that it is not crowded and that the eye has somewhere to rest. This means that the eye can make sense of the order of the banner.
· The font is important too!
Fonts can create an impact on any message but there are examples of really bad design that include a plethora of fonts.
In the main, choose one font but if you feel that this needs to be varied, trying using bold or italics to emphasises the fact there is something different or important being said.
When choosing a font, you also need to check how readable it is in the larger format. Some curlier fonts, especially those that are narrower in design do not transpose well from the smaller screen to the larger print format.
· Graphics of quality that support your test
There are also some poor examples of when graphics and images are used to fill the space. When it comes to pictures, you need to ask why you include that particular image – is it needed? Why?
That said, a picture can tell a thousand words so maybe a high-quality image can tell your customer more than a paragraph of text.