Branding Questions To Ask Before You Move Forward With Print Projects

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Print is often your first point of contact with a potential client or customer – whether they catch a glimpse of one of your posters in a local shop window, or see your large display and pull-up banners at an industry expo, your print projects need to be on brand so they attract the right people, and leave the right first impression.

Before you move forward with any print project, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of your branding – who you are as a brand, what you want to say to your potential customers and clients and how you want your print projects to bring your brand to life. If you don’t have your branding firmly in place, your print projects can end up feeling disjointed or confusing to the audience that you’re trying to attract.

Here are 3 branding questions to ask before you move forward with print projects to make sure you’re getting the most out of your print collateral:

 

Who are my ideal customers?

One of the essentials of strong branding is knowing who your audience is and what’s going to appeal to them. Before you design any of your print projects, you need to ask yourself “who are my ideal customers? And how can I speak directly to them through my branding?”

Different audiences are going to be attracted to different types of branding. For example, if you’re a children’s brand, bright colors and whimsical fonts could be a good choice for print projects. But if you’re a corporate real estate company, that same branding would feel off-putting to your ideal audience, and something more traditional would likely yield much better results.

Clearly define the clients and customers you’d like to work with, then build your branding (and print projects) around what’s going to be the most attractive to them.

 

What feeling or feelings do I want to invoke with my print project?

The best marketing materials – including print projects – make the viewer feel something. It might make them feel happy, or sad, or angry, depending on the ultimate goal. But that last thing you want your audience to feel when they’re looking at your print project is bored or unaffected.

Figure out what type of feeling or feelings you want to invoke with your print project, and then build the branding and design around those feelings. For example, do you want your audience to feel calm when reading your marketing brochure? Then you might want to use a blue color scheme, since blue has been shown to invoke feelings of calm and relaxation. Or maybe you want people to feel excited and motivated to take action, in which case you’d want to use red.

Before you put any project to print, think about the feeling that you want to invoke with your audience, and keep that in mind as you design.

 

What makes my brand recognizable, and how do I translate that into print?

If you’ve been in business for awhile, there’s probably certain things that make your brand recognizable to your core audience. Maybe it’s a particular color scheme, or maybe you use a very specific type of languaging. Whatever it is that makes your brand recognizable, you want to make sure that it translates into print.

Now, you don’t want all of your print projects to look the same, but you DO want to make sure that someone who’s looking at your print project knows that it comes from you. So, for example, let’s say you wanted to print up themed posters for an upcoming holiday sale. It’s fine to change the color scheme to be more in line with holiday colors, but you’ll want to keep the other aspects of your branding that make your brand recognizable, like your signature fonts and your logo.

Before you move forward with print projects, make sure you ask yourself these 3 branding questions to ensure that the final product rings true to your brand and gets the results you’re looking for from your audience.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

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Tying Your Print Collateral Into Your Corporate Training Program

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Whether you’re a small company or a large corporation, it’s important to have some sort of corporate training program in place. Corporate training programs help new employees and contractors get up to speed quickly and ensure that your team is aware of and adhering to the policies and procedures you have in place.

While a significant amount of your corporate training program should incorporate person-to-person training, print collateral is a great way to support in person trainings and give your team hard copies of important training points to reference throughout their employment.

Here’s some print collateral you’ll definitely want to tie into your corporate training program:

 

Corporate Training Manuals

The first piece of collateral you’ll want to have printed for your corporate training program is a master Corporate Training Manual. This guide should be a comprehensive overview of everything and anything your team needs to know about your business. Your corporate training manual should include everything from company wide best practices, how to submit timesheets or invoices, login information for necessary company systems and software, HR information and just about everything in between. Your employees and contractors should be able to answer any question they might have during the training process by referring to the corporate training manual.

In most cases, corporate training manuals will be lengthy, so you’ll want to have them professionally printed and bound (saddle stitch booklets are a clean, professional and modern option for longer documents like training manuals). Depending on the size of your team, you might want to print one master corporate training manual for your office, one manual for each department of one manual for each individual.

 

Training Pamphlets

Training pamphlets are great for digging deeper on the topics covered in your corporate training manual. Pamphlets can cover a specific topic, like social media marketing or submitting time-sheets, and go more in-depth on exactly how to complete the process, step-by-step. These will give your employees or contractors a map of exactly how different areas of your company function that they can quickly refer to as they go through training, rather than sorting through the corporate training manual every time they have a question or need to go through a process.

You can print your training pamphlets just like you would a marketing brochure, and to keep costs low only pass them out to employees who will be managing each process (so, for example social media marketing training pamphlets would go only to your marketing team while timesheet submission training pamphlets would need to go out company wide).

 

Contact Cards

Contact cards are also a great piece of training collateral to give out to your team. These cards highlight who the appropriate contact is for each area of your business and how to reach them.

So, for example, let’s say you wanted to create a marketing contact card for your team. You could include “For graphic design submissions, contact XXX at XXX@yourcompany.com” and “For marketing copy requests, contact XYZ at XYZ@yourcompany.com”.

Contact cards are hugely helpful; not only does it train new team members on who they need to get in touch with for their projects, it also increases productivity but cutting back the amount of time people spend searching for who to get in touch with or submitting/requesting work to the wrong people within your company.

Rather than print contacts on individual business cards, we recommend using larger marketing cards with room for multiple contacts.

 

Training Flash Cards

Just like teachers use in schools, Flash cards can be an effective training tool to help your employees and contractors retain the information that they learn during your corporate training program.

Have your trainer develop a list of questions based on their training and then develop training flash cards around those questions. For example, if your trainer is running a social media marketing training, a great question for a training flash card might be “Name three of our company’s best practices for posting on Facebook” or “What are three words that describe the tone we’re aiming for on our social media profiles?”

Training flash cards can be taken home and studied by new team members and trainers can use them as a tool to check in on their progress. Marketing cards are a great print format for training flash cards.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

 

Elements of A Great Logo

Great Logo Image

As a business owner, there’s many things that you’ll need to design for your company: business cards, marketing collateral, your website. But before you can move forward on design projects, there’s one design that you need to lock down: your logo.

Your logo is a critical part of your business. It’s likely going to stamped on every piece of communication that you have with your customers. And because your logo is going to be so forward facing, it’s essential that you lock in a logo that’s perfect for you.

But what makes a logo work? What are the elements of a great logo?

 

Clean Sense Of Design

The first element of a great logo is a clean sense of design. The last thing that you want out of a logo is for it to feel too cluttered or busy; a clean, simple design is going to be the most effective, especially considering the fact that your logo will be small on most of your collateral. You don’t want any of your logo to get lost due to sizing issues or your clients or customers to have to put on a pair of magnifying glasses in order to read or understand your logo.

 

Your logo should have a few key elements, graphic and/or visual that are being highlighted, and none should compete with the other. If you feel there are elements of your logo that are unnecessary to the overall feel and aesthetic, get rid of them. The less you have going on in your logo, the better.

 

It Makes An Impact

Perhaps the most important element of a great logo is the impression that it leaves on your clients and customers. Does your logo make an impact? Or is it pretty much instantly forgotten?

You want to have your graphic design partner design a logo that’s going to make an impact and be instantly recognizable to your customers. Having a clean sense of design as we discussed will certainly help, but you need to take it a step further. What does your logo say about who you are as a company? And how does it translate that to your audience?

 

Think about some of the most famous and impactful logos in the world, like Apple or Disney. Both companies have clean logos that are instantly recognizable and make an impact on customers. Strive to do the same in your logo design.

 

It’s On Brand

When developing your logo, it’s also important to make sure that you stay on brand. While some design practices will work really well for other companies, they might not be a fit for you, who you are to your customers and how you want to establish yourself in the market.

For example, let’s say your a family friendly brand. You’re likely going to want to avoid a logo that feels racy or suggestive in any way as it plays against who you are as a brand. Or say you’re a brand that’s targeted towards professionals; you’re definitely going to want to avoid any whimsical fonts or design elements that are more typically associated with children.

Your logo is basically a visual summary of who you are as a company. Know who you are as a brand, and make sure that your logo is an accurate visual representation of that identity

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information and valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

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3 Ways Your Graphic Design Partner Makes Your Life Easier

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Running a business can be overwhelming. There’s always something to be done, and one of the major mistakes that we see business owners make is trying to do everything themselves. Hiring a team to manage different aspects of your business will give you the freedom to focus on the big picture.

One of the aspects that you absolutely should hire out is graphic design. Having the right graphic design partner can make your life – and business – significantly easier.

Here are 3 ways your graphic design partner makes your life easier:

 

They Bring Expertise To The Table

One of the major ways that your graphic design partner makes your life easier is the level of expertise that they bring to the table. If you’ve ever tried to design anything on your own, you know that it’s serious business. Even programs known for being user-friendly and straightforward, like Canva, take a certain level of know-how and finesse to create dynamic designs. If you don’t have a design background and an understanding of design principles, you can easily spend hours working on a marketing brochure or a business card, only to have it end up completely unusable.

But your graphic design partner brings a certain level of expertise to the table that allows you to turn things over to their hands and not worry about the logistics of your design coming to life. Instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to add the correct amount of shading to your image or the correct text hierarchy for your marketing card, you can turn that over to the expert and focus on your zone of genius and the parts of your business where you can excel.

Being able to trust your graphic design partner to bring their expertise to the table to deliver the design work that your business needs is a huge weight off of your shoulders.

 

They Make Recommendations You Wouldn’t Have Thought Of

One major truth in business (and in life) is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And in the case of graphics, the things that you don’t know can make the difference between creating a design that converts and a design that falls flat.

For example, you might love the color yellow and want to incorporate it into all of your design. But what you might not know is that yellow can actually be anxiety inducing and can cause people to feel agitated. Your graphic designer will have a clear understanding of color psychology and can make recommendations on which colors are appropriate and when to use them for the best effect.

Your graphic design partner will be able to take your design spec and make recommendations that you, not being a designer, wouldn’t have even thought of. This is going to ensure that your design is optimized for maximum results, which will certainly make your life and business significantly easier (and more profitable).

 

Templates, Templates, Templates

One of the biggest value adds that you’ll get from your graphic design partner is templates. Rather than start every design project from scratch, your graphic design partner can design a series of templates that are easily customisable depending on the project that you’re working on.

For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent and you host a few open houses each month. Rather than design a new open house invitation for every event, your graphic design partner can create a template. All you have to do is plug in the details, send it to your print partner, and you’re ready to go.

Using templates for the design projects that you do on a regular basis will save you a huge amount of time, money and stress.

When you have the right graphic design partner on your team, the entire design process should feel like smooth sailing and make your life as a business owner significantly easier. For tips on finding and screening graphic design partners, make sure you check out our posts on How To Find A Talented (And Affordable!) Graphic Designer For Your Real Estate Business and The Good Design Checklist.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

3 Projects You Should Hire A Graphic Design Partner For

Wanted GD imageIn an effort to keep costs at a minimum, companies often cut corners when it comes to design and attempt to design their projects on their own. And while certain things can likely be managed in house, like internal email templates or document formatting, there are certain projects where you should always bring in a professional.

Here are 3 projects you should hire a graphic design partner for:

 

Logo

There are times in your business when you don’t want to cut corners, and getting your logo designed is definitely one of those times. Your logo is the visual representation of your brand, and it needs to speak to your brand accordingly. Often times, your logo is the only exposure that a potential client or customer will have into your brand, and you need it to be an accurate representation in order to pique their interest.

For example, let’s say your business sponsors a local event in order to build awareness in the local market and drive new sales inquiries. You’re not going to be able to include an entire write up of who you are and what you do on any of the event’s marketing collateral; you’ll just get to include your logo. Your logo needs to speak to who you are as a brand so that the people in your community see that logo, identify with it and want to find out more.

When you’re hiring a graphic design partner to create your logo, make sure they understand exactly who you are as a brand and what message you want to convey with your logo. Also be sure that they have a deep understanding of typography and color psychology so that they’re able to create a logo that’s balanced, visually appealing and attracts the right type of client or customer.

 

Marketing Collateral

Marketing is an indispensable part of your business; in order to drive revenue, you need to constantly be bringing in new business. And the way to bring in new business is through marketing.

Having a strong marketing message is essential to converting leads to customers. But if you have poorly designed marketing collateral, it doesn’t matter how strong your message; you’re going to lose those customers.

Having poorly designed marketing materials will lead your potential clients and customers to feel like you don’t take your business seriously. If you can’t bother to put the effort into delivering marketing material that’s visually appealing, how can they trust that you’ll put forth the effort to deliver a high quality product or service?

Well designed marketing materials immediately establishes credibility with your potential client or customer, which means that they’re far more likely to consider working with you.

Ask your graphic design partner about their experience in developing marketing materials in your industry, and see if they have any pre-designed templates that will allow you to customize and create marketing materials quickly and efficiently.

 

Website

In 2017, a significant portion of business happens online. And no matter what your business model, in order to run a successful business, you need to have a strong web presence.

Your website is your company’s home base on the web. It’s where your potential clients and customers will go to find out more about you, your product or service and why they should consider working with you. The last thing that you want is for them to be completely turned off by an ugly website.

There’s a lot that goes into good web design: where to play different features on the site, segmenting your site to be visually appealing, the use of color and typography. And unless you’re an experienced designer, it’s incredibly difficult to achieve the right results on your own.

Hiring a graphic design partner with web design experience will ensure you create a web presence that speaks to your brand and contributes to your overall business objectives. Make sure you ask to review your design partner’s portfolio to get a feel for their overall aesthetic and how that translates to your brand.

 

About Us

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality print and graphic design services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.

Cross Media Marketing: How To Bridge Print and Digital To Drive Results

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The beauty of cross media marketing campaigns is that they leverage multiple channels – both digital and traditional – to effectively connect with more people in more ways.

When done well, cross media marketing campaigns can drive better results than traditional or digital marketing strategies alone. But how do you pull off a cross media marketing campaign? How do you bridge traditional methods (like print) and digital methods to drive results and hit your campaign goals?

Here are three ways to bridge print and digital to drive results and get the most out of your cross media marketing campaigns:

 

Create A Consistent Brand Experience

The most important part of any successful cross media marketing campaign is consistency. When you’re interacting with your customers across multiple channels and mediums, it’s important they have a consistent brand experience no matter where and how they interact with you.

For example, let’s say you sent out a personalised mailer that included a PURL that tied into a social media campaign. Your mailer, the landing page for your PURL and your social media channel should all have a consistent look and feel; you should use similar colours, fonts, graphics, copy, and other elements so each part of your campaign (and each channel) feels like part of a greater whole. If your mailer has a certain branding that’s totally different from your PURL landing page which feels completely disconnected from your social media presence, you’re going to confuse your audience – which will hurt results.

 

Use Print To Drive Your Audience To Digital

One of the best ways you can successfully bridge traditional and digital methods in your cross media marketing campaigns is to use print to drive your audience to your digital channels.

We already mentioned using a print mailer to send your audience to a PURL, but there’s so many other ways you can leverage print to drive digital results. If you’re running a local campaign, you could hang a billboard or other big signage around town that drives curious passerby’s to your social media profile or to an opt-in form to learn more about your campaign. Or, you can add QR codes to your marketing cards, where your customers can scan the code into their phone and use it to unlock campaign-specific messaging, coupons, and other special offers.

Using print as a way to drive more traffic to your digital channels is an effective method for increasing the results on your cross media marketing campaign.

 

Think Outside Of The Box

The most effective cross media marketing campaigns are the ones that are both unique and memorable. If you want your campaign to have a serious impact, think outside the box and brainstorm creative ways you can leverage print and digital to reach more customers, get more results, and drive more revenue.

For example, let’s say you were a new restaurant looking to grow your social presence through a cross media marketing campaign. While you would obviously want to funnel a number of your resources towards digital strategies, thinking of creative ways to tie in print could drive new followers you might not have otherwise reached. Maybe you partner with a local juice shop and have them pass out cards to their guests which include your social media URL, where they can enter to win a free dinner for two. Or, maybe you put a text code on your menu where diners text to get a link that sends them straight to your social profile. The possibilities with cross media marketing are virtually endless; you just need to be creative, think outside of the box, and come up with innovative ways to reach your customers.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality graphic design and print services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.  

I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable.  For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at paul.stenhouse@rogueprintandmail.com.au  to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.