Friday, May 29, 2009

The Ultimate Business Tune-up for Times Like These

Want insight from some of the nation's leading entrepreneurs?

See Inc. Magazine's list of "23 things you can do right now" to energize your employees, wow your customers, and get your business back on track."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple Steps for Good Graphic Design

Professional design strikes a delicate balance between text, artwork and white space. Without that balance, you can confuse your reader and turn out a marketing piece that fails to do its job.
Whether you design your marketing collateral yourself, or hire someone to do it for you, keep in mind these simple guidelines:
  • The typography you select helps set the tone for your piece, and its size and color create an information hierarchy that lets the reader know what's most and least important.
  • Imagery, whether it's photos or illustrations, should do more than decorate; it should pull the reader into the piece and convey information that supports your copy.
  • White space is a good thing; use it generously. Let your printed materials breathe, so as to not suffocate the recipient with information overload.
  • Never compromise on photo quality. A picture is only worth 1,000 words if it’s a good one. Quality printing helps your photos look great and lets you stay true to that premise. For more about images and resolution, see Design Tips.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May We Share Some Good News?

We're not usually ones to brag, but we got this unsolicited email that simply made our day.

The brochures are beautifully done. I’ve had the same brochures done using another online printer and you blew them away with higher quality, excellent service and better pricing. I’ve already recommended you to three of my friends. Thanks again!

Robin Santos, Vice President

Rick's Music World

Raynham, MA

P.S. Feel free to use my comments.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Create Copy That Sells

All great marketing materials start with a sound editorial concept and well-written copy. Make your printed pieces as effective as possible by following these basic copywriting guidelines:

  • Consider the audience you are trying to attract; "get inside their heads"

  • Focus on benefits, not features; show why whatever you are promoting is the right choice for your reader

  • Write headlines that command attention

  • Use strong leads that will “hook” the reader

  • Keep it short; be sensitive to the fact that people are busy

  • Write in an active voice. Correct: The man called the dog. Incorrect: The dog was called by the man.
  • Use a conversational tone with simple language anybody can understand

  • Stay away from industry jargon and too many “buzz” words

  • Include a call to action, such as “buy now,” “visit our website to order,” “get a free sample”

  • Make sure your marketing piece is “skim-able,” meaning there should be plenty of white space, brief-yet-informative headlines and subheads, bullet points, etc. People are looking for "nuggets" of information, not the great American novel.

If you've got tips of your own, please comment and I'll include them in future entries.