While relaxing at a day spa a couple of weeks ago, I had an unsettling experience. I picked up a flyer for a treatment the provider recommended and nearly choked on my lemon-mint infused water; It wasn’t the service that looked painful or expensive. The flyer was so poorly designed, it immediately gave me a bad impression. There were multiple fonts throughout the page. The images were stretched and blurry. The colors didn’t go together.
As a designer, I’m probably more critical of branded materials than most, but it doesn’t take a designer to recognize bad design. The spa’s ugly flyer cost them my business! It may have been designed by an office manager or front-desk personnel. It was clear that a professional graphic designer didn’t.
You wouldn’t let your six-year-old give you a haircut, would you? Hire a professional!
Don’t let this happen to you!
When graphic design is done well, you don’t notice it.
Graphic designers who are skilled at their craft have been trained to take information and make it appear easy to read and understand. They know that the right text placement and image usage will draw your attention to the important parts of the material and make you want to read the information. When the design is not done well, you notice that something is off – like I did with the spa flyer.
Example of before and after of marketing material design
How graphic designers layout great materials.
- We follow design principlesMost designers learn how to layout material in art school. They learn about color theory, which tells us why colors compliment each other and what emotions or feelings certain colors bring out. They learn about the proper text-to-space ratio and how to guide your eye through the material to draw the readers’ attention to the most important information. They know when to make the logo bigger or when to make the image smaller. After years of designing ads and collateral, these design principles become second nature.
- We have the right software to design Skilled graphic designers use software programs like Adobe Creative Suite that assists in building great layouts. They have access to beautifully designed templates that can be customized for each brand. This type of software isn’t always easy to navigate takes some time to master. Years of practice give designers the confidence to create a gorgeous layout without using a template.
- We use original or purchased high-resolution imagesMany graphic designers appreciate original photography as it gives each design a unique and not easily duplicated look. Companies who invest in a photo or video shoot of their staff, products, or service offering have a library of original images they can use for years. Great designers know that stealing images from the internet is never okay. So, when a budget or time is tight, royalty-free images can be purchased from websites like Comstock or iStock. The tricky part about choosing royalty-free images is choosing a look that hasn’t already been used by competitors in the same industry.
In short, if you want marketing materials that give off a positive professional image of your brand, hire a professional who has invested time and effort into learning their craft to give you the best possible result for your brand.
Need help with your marketing material, ads, or website design? Contact us.
About the Author
Stacey Harrison is the lead brand strategist and designer at Heart & Hustle Brands and has provided creative direction for healthcare, industrial, and financial services brands for 20 years. She started Harrison Creative Group in 2017 to serve businesses that need a professional brand image on a budget. In 2021, the company rebranded to Heart & Hustle Brands to walk in the shoes of clients that experience a change of name or brand refresh.