What To Do When You Get A Design You Dislike

Design you dislike image

If you choose the right graphic design partner, 99% of the time you’re going to be thrilled with the designs that they deliver. But there will likely come a time when you get a design in your inbox that is underwhelming, misses the mark or you just plain don’t like.

So what do you do in that situation to ensure that your graphic design partner’s next attempt is a better fit? What do you do when you get a design that you dislike?

 

Evaluate

The first thing you want to do when you get a design from your graphic design partner that you dislike is to evaluate exactly what it is that you don’t like about it. If you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong with the design, your designer isn’t going to be able to, either.

Look at the design and really try to pinpoint exactly what feels off about it. Are the colors wrong? Do you feel like it’s off brand? Is the typography distracting?

Whatever it is that you dislike in the design (from the large details to the small), write it down. Knowing everything that you don’t like is going to help you give the right feedback to your designer so he can deliver something that you DO like.

 

Bring Your Issues To Your Designer (In The Right Way)

Once you know exactly what’s wrong with your design, it’s time to bring your issues to your designer. But if you want to get back a design that’s true to your vision (and preserve the relationship with your graphic design partner), you need to approach the conversation in the right way. Clear communication with your graphic design partner is essential, and it’s imperative that you deliver your critiques in a way that’s sensitive to your partner’s design process and offers criticism in a constructive way. Remember, the goal is to get on the same page with your graphic design partner, not insult their design.

A great way to deliver constructive criticism is to use what’s called “the praise sandwich”. Start off by sharing something that you like about the design, then bring up the changes that you need made and end things with another piece of positive feedback so that you’re essentially “sandwiching” the negative comments between two positive ones.

So, for example, you could say “Thanks for sending over this design, Greg. You really nailed the branding! I feel like we need to change the proportions so that the text doesn’t overwhelm the logo and photo. But I really love the placement of everything, so definitely make sure to keep that in the final design”.

Using the praise sandwich softens the blow of the criticism, which will get you the changes you need without unnecessarily offending your graphic design partner.

 

Set The Right Expectations

Once you’ve discussed your concerns with your graphic design partner, it’s important that you set the right expectations to ensure that you get back a design that’s going to work for you.

Once you’ve gone over all of your design issues with your partner, ask them to explain exactly what changes they’re going to implement to improve the overall aesthetic. Make sure you understand their thought process and the changes that their planning and that it’s in line with the changes that you envision. If it’s not, continue the conversation until you’re both on the same page.

Before you end the conversation, do a final review of your expectations for the new design. Outline everything that you discussed, being as specific as possible, and have your graphic design partner sign off on the changes they’ll be making.

Taking the extra time to make sure that both you and your design partner are in agreement on exactly what needs to change in the design to bring it up to par will significantly lower your chances of getting another design that you’re unhappy with.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For More Changes

However, if you DO get a second design and you feel that you’re still not happy with it, don’t be afraid to ask your design partner for additional changes. It’s your partner’s responsibility to bring your design vision to life, and as long as you’re communicating clearly and not continually changing your mind and expectations, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t deliver on that responsibility.

 

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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The Good Design Checklist

Checklist image

We’ve already covered how good design can revolutionize your business while bad design can hurt your credibility with your clients and directly impact your profit.

But knowing that you need to invest in good design is one thing. Knowing what constitutes good design and the things that you should look for is another.

If you’re not design inclined, it can be challenging to create design and make a definitive decision on whether it’s good or bad and whether it will work for your business or not. But when you’re hiring a graphic design partner, there are certain universal elements to good design that you’ll want to look for.

We compiled this “good design checklist” of 5 elements you should look for when critiquing a design or a designer’s portfolio:

 

Typography

The first item on the good design checklist is typography. Typography refers not only to a designer’s ability to create type that’s aesthetically pleasing, but also conveys the meaning of the text. With so many font options to choose from, it’s important that your graphic design partner understands the role that typography plays in branding and chooses a combination of font that’s true to who you are as a company, your messaging and the goal of your design.

For example, a whimsical font may be lovely to look at, but if you’re trying to create a design that establishes you as an authority in your industry, it would be the wrong choice.

Make sure that your graphic designer has a good sense of typography and chooses fonts that are both pleasing to the eye and consistent with your overall brand.

 

Colour

Another element you want to make sure your graphic design partner has a good handle on is colour. Colour (and the right combination of colours) can have a huge impact on the success of your design.

When reviewing a potential graphic design partner’s portfolio, pay close attention to their use of colour. They should not only choose complimentary colours that pair well together but should also have a firm understanding of colour psychology and the effects that different colours have on behavior.

For example, the colour creates a sense of urgency, so it’s a great colour choice if your clothing business is having a clearance sale. On the other hand, blue brings up feelings of calm and serenity and is an excellent choice for designing internal communications to communicate with your team and keep everyone on point.

Having a graphic design partner that understands the different emotional reactions and behaviors that colors inspire in viewers will get you significantly better results in your design.

 

Hierarchy

Another element of good design is hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the arrangement of various design elements that conveys the importance of each element. People look at design and see things in a particular order, and hierarchy directly influences the order that people see the different elements in your design. A good graphic design partner will know how to use visual hierarchy in order to emphasize key points and messaging.

To create a sense of visual hierarchy, designers use different sizes and contrasts. Usually, the larger the text or image and the higher the level of contrast between the text or image and the background, the quicker the person viewing the graphic will be drawn to it.

Your graphic design partner should understand your primary messaging and what you want to convey with your design, and then utilize hierarchy to emphasis that.

 

Consistency

The last element you’ll want to check off your design list is consistency. You want your design to feel congruent both within the design itself and with your overall branding.

When you’re reviewing a design, ask yourself: are there any elements that feel out of place within the design? Do the colors and font choices match the message that I’m trying to convey? Does this design feel like it’s aligned with my overall branding?

You want your design to have a congruent feel and to tie back into your overall branding, giving your audience a consistent design experience across the board.

 

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.

 

The Elements Of A Great Marketing Brochure

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In business, your marketing brochures are some of your most essential pieces of marketing collateral. Take real estate for example. 4pp A4 marketing brochures give you the opportunity to showcase new properties to potential buyers, build awareness in your local market and drive more business. Many real estate agents also use brochures for additional marketing initiatives, like introducing themselves and their business to a new neighborhood or market or educating clients on current market trends.

If you want to run a successful marketing campaign, having great marketing brochures is a non-negotiable.

But what are the elements of a great marketing brochure? What takes a marketing brochure from “just ok” to “exceptional”? What should you integrate into your marketing brochure to make sure that it stands out from the pack and makes an impact on your client base?

 

A Compelling Cover

The cover of the marketing brochure is the first thing that your clients are going to see, and as the old saying goes, you can’t make a first impression twice. The cover is what’s going to determine whether or not your clients actually open the marketing brochure and see your messaging. If it’s not compelling, they’re not going to open it.

Make sure that your cover visually grabs the reader’s attention. Include a headline that lets your clients know the value they can expect. Give them just enough information that they’re intrigued to open the marketing brochure to learn more.

 

The Right Color Scheme

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your brochure, you want to make sure you use the right colors. Color psychology is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Different colors evoke different reactions in people, and leveraging the right color scheme can inspire specific behaviors in your audience.

For example, red tends to make people more aggressive and can make them more prone to purchase, so it’s often used to influence buying. Read would be a great color to use if you’re showcasing a property that you want to unload quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, blue produces a calm and serene effect and is best used when trying to build positive brand sentiment. Blue would be a great color to use if you’re introducing yourself to a new market and want to build trust with a new audience.

Depending on the end goal of your marketing brochure, using the right combination of colors can make a serious impact in the effectiveness of your campaign.

 

Solid Content

No matter how well your marketing brochure is designed, if the content is lacking, you’re not going to see results. Content, both written and visual, is absolutely essential in a great marketing brochure.

For written content, make sure you follow the the 5 C’s of copywriting from our copywriting tips for real estate agents and develop dynamic copy that will connect with your audience. From a visual perspective, make sure you use photos that showcase your properties in the best light and impeccably designed graphics.

 

Call To Action

The final element to a great marketing brochure is a call to action. Just like any other marketing initiative, you need to be crystal clear on your expectations with your audience; otherwise, they won’t take action.

Want them to come to the open house? End the marketing brochure with “Don’t Miss Our Open House!” with details of the event. Want them to check out your agent listing site? Include a URL with languaging directing them to check out your web presence. Whatever you want them to do, make sure it’s communicated clearly. You’ll also want to make sure that you visually call attention to it; the last thing you want is for your call to action to get lost among the other elements of your marketing brochure and, as such, ignored by your audience.

 

How Can We Help?

At Rogue Print and Mail, we understand the real estate industry and are a trusted design and print partner for many hundreds of real estate professionals across Australia. Our proven track record of delivering the highest quality print services to real estate professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, real-estate 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 real estate 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 Door Hanger

Door Hanger Image

Door hangers are a cornerstone in any successful real estate marketing campaign. They’re an ideal choice for a number of reasons; they’re effective, they’re affordable to print and, unlike mailers, you can pretty much guarantee that your message will be seen by your potential clients, as you’re hanging it right on their front door.

But what are the elements of a great door hanger? What do you need to include if you want to get the results you’re looking for from your campaign?

 

Perfect Sizing

The first element of a great door hanger is the size. You want to be sure that you choose a size that’s going to grab people’s attention and is large enough to properly display your message, but isn’t large enough to be considered an eyesore or to look overwhelming on their door.

Typically, door hangers come in 3 sizes: 99mm x 210mm, 148mm x 210mm and 105mm x 297mm”. If your door hanger is going to include a lot of text, then using the wider door hanger size will allow you to include more of your copy without looking crowded. The vertical door hangers are great for showcasing properties or other campaigns that are more image focused.

 

The Right Type of Design

Another element that you’re going to want to pay attention to is the design of your door hanger. There are certain elements that you want to include to make sure that your hanger campaign has a maximum impact on your potential clients.

Keep in mind that a lot of people are going to quickly glance at your door hanger, pull it off their door and follow the immediate instinct to throw it away. You really only have a cursory glance to grab their attention, so you want to make sure that your design uses colors, type and a layout that catches their eye, branding they will connect and identify with and some sort of “hook” that will keep them interested enough to read through your message.

Your print partner should have a variety of door hanger templates for you to choose from that have been tried-and-tested to grab your potential client’s attention and deliver results.

 

A Special Offer

Typically, that “hook” should be a special offer. You want to include some sort of incentive for them to follow up on your door hanger campaign and get in touch.

When you’re planning your door hanger campaign, set measurable goals of what you’re hoping to achieve, like getting 10% of homes you canvas to visit your website and fill out an inquiry form. Then, make your special offer directly relate to that goal.

For example, you could offer a certain percentage off of closing costs or a free home appraisal if your clients use an exclusive code found on your door hanger. Not only will this give them extra incentive to follow through on your call to action, it also helps you track your campaign and how close you are to meeting your goal.

 

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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5 Things Your Graphic Design Partner Needs To Be Successful

Success Image

Design can make or break your business, and that’s why it’s essential that you choose a graphic design partner that can deliver the caliber of design you need to succeed.

You already know what you need from your graphic design partner for your business to soar, but what about the flip side of the coin? What does your graphic design partner need from YOU to be successful?

 

Direction

If you want your graphic design partner to come up with a design that you’ll be happy with, you need to give them the direction to get there. Your graphic design partner can’t read your mind or anticipate your needs unless you tell them exactly what you’re looking for.

At the start of the project, schedule a time with your graphic design partner to lay out all of the details of the project and the direction you see the design heading. Let them know how you envision the final product, what things you like in your designs and what things you don’t like. If possible, provide them with examples of past designs that worked for your business and why you felt they were successful.

If it’s your first time working with them, give them the rundown on what it’s like to work with you, what you expect, the process for submitting their designs and any other details they need to know to be successful.

 

Access To Assets

For your graphic design partner to be successful, they’re going to need to have access to certain areas of your business, specifically assets like your logo, color scheme and templates. This may sound obvious, but forgetting to give your graphic design partner access to the right files and assets can slow projects down to a halt.

Create a folder on Google Drive with all of your assets in multiple file formats (.psd, .epi, etc) and share access with your graphic design partner. Alternately, you can have your graphic design partner log directly into your backend portal (if you’re concerned about password security, you can use a tool like LastPass to share account access without giving away passwords).

 

Creative Freedom

Whilst it’s important to give your graphic design partner direction for them to succeed with their design, you also don’t want to micromanage. You need to give your graphic design partner the creative freedom to do their job. Remember, you hired your graphic design partner because they’re an expert and, as such, know more about design than you do.

Give your graphic design partner the direction they need to understand your vision, but then trust in their expertise and ability to bring that vision to life.

 

Timely Communication

Another issue that can seriously halt the design process is communication. Just like you need your vendors to respond to you in a timely manner, your graphic design partner needs you to get back to them with timely feedback in order for them to adjust their design and deliver the project on time.

Schedule a regular touch base with your graphic design partner to review progress, address any concerns and keep the project moving. Be sure to answer all their questions and requests within 24 hours and make yourself available (within reason) when they need to connect live.

 

Positive Feedback

Your graphic design partner (and really, everyone on your team) needs to know when they’re doing a good job and exceeding your expectations. But while they’re always quick to bring up an issue or problem with a design, many managers fall short when it comes to providing positive feedback to their vendors.

Fostering a positive relationship with your graphic design partner and letting them know what you like about their design can go along way in setting up a successful working relationship. Employees and contractors who feel valued and appreciated do better work and are often willing to go the extra mile to deliver on design projects.

 

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 Ways Your Graphic Design Partner Makes Your Life Easier

easy way hard way image

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.