Designing Your Own Print Marketing Materials

Looking to pick up some new skills that could save you time and money on your marketing materials?

While the expertise of a professional graphic designer can’t be replaced, having some design experience under your belt can make a tremendous difference in how you build your marketing strategy.

If you’re new to design, coupling the following tips with hands-on experience can help you learn how to plan and produce effective marketing materials.

Use the Right Font for Your Brand and Audience

Once you’ve mapped out your messaging, you’ll need to choose the right font to convey both the feel of your brand and the tone of your content. And with thousands of fonts to choose from, what’s the harm in sprinkling a little variety throughout your design, right?

Try not to get carried away. Using too many different font styles within the same design can be distracting and messy. You’ll have plenty of other opportunities to make your design eye-grabbing and creative—don’t go crazy with too many fonts. A great rule of thumb is to use a maximum of two font types: one for your headers and another for your body paragraphs.

Unless they’re stylistically appropriate for your audience, avoid calligraphy-style fonts, which can make your message tedious or exhausting to read. Any “fancy” fonts should be reserved for headlines that are just a few words long; your main body text should be simple and legible.

Use the Right Colors (and Contrast!)

The color scheme of your design has an overwhelming amount of influential power. It’s a well-known fact that colors can convey moods, feelings, and even actions. As you flesh out your design, consider what emotions you wish to convey to your audience.

Does your messaging push for an urgent decision? Is it meant for a certain season or holiday? Do you want to promote a sense of exclusivity or luxury? Answering these questions will guide you to the right spots on the color wheel.

A simple trick for effectively highlighting a focus point or call to action on your design is incorporating contrasting colors. Using a high-contrast color against your background will draw eyes right to your main message. Not sure what that means? Discover your perfect scheme with this color calculator.

Make Sure There’s Ample White Space

It’s true what they say: Less (content) is more. The greatest modern designs demonstrate the value of simplicity. Luckily for you, that means you can spend less time filling the white space on your page and more time optimizing your branding and message. No need to cram every corner with content!

Whenever you write an email, press release, or blog, you give your readers natural breaks by splitting your content into headers and paragraphs. The same concept translates to design. White space is the equivalent of a paragraph break: It gives your audience the proper time to rest and digest the previous content.

Keep your messaging concise and simple with a proper design to match, and you’ll be sure to captivate without any clutter.

Carefully Select a Design Hierarchy

Want to attract your audience to elements of your design in a specific order? Great news: You can achieve this without having to number anything. Design hierarchy is your friend!

What does this mean? By using different fonts, colors, and sizes, you can guide a viewer through your design in the order you intend. Consider the layout of a newspaper: Bold-faced headlines and captivating pictures are likely to grab your attention before the body text.

You can emulate this concept in your design: Determine what statement you’d like to be your “headline,” and accentuate it by making it bigger and bolder than your body font. Additionally, the alignment of your text can serve as a guide. Follow the natural flow of reading, keeping your primary elements on the left hand side with gradual movement to the right.

Design for Print

If you intend to use your design for brochures, flyers, business cards, and any other form of printed marketing material, you’ll want to be conscious of the dimensions of your design. From choosing the right color space to leaving bleed margins, there are a handful of small details about designing for print that you’ll need to research and apply.

For example, if you’d like to design and print a brochure, your template will need to conform to specific dimensions for printing compatibility. Additionally, your resolution will need to be optimized for print in order to retain the proper colors and edges. Overlooking these details could result in a product that doesn’t resemble your original design.

When in Doubt, Consult a Pro

Need a trained eye to help bring your ideas to life? Not sure how to optimize your designs for print marketing? Our graphic design team can deliver the expertise you’re looking for. Get in touch with the B Squared team to start your consultation.