Tag Archives: design

Designing Successful Newsletters

Newsletters have become a great way for businesses to spread information, “tell their story,” solidify customer loyalty, and increase sales.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while designing your company newsletter:
  • Content Is Important – Successful newsletters provide interesting content for their readers, in addition to product information from the newsletter provider.
  • Color Draws the Eye – Use multiple colors of ink to draw attention to important articles and information. Two-color newsletters are very effective, and full-color newsletters are gaining popularity.
  • Pull Quotes Create Interest – Pull quotes create interest and increase the likelihood that an article will be read. These quotes are taken directly from the article and focus on interesting, key points.
  • Good Design Provides More Room for Copy – A well-planned and designed newsletter can contain 20% to 30% more content than a casually designed newsletter. Seeking advice from professional graphic artists is often profitable. They can help design an effective template for your future use.
  • Good Back Page Design Is Important – An estimated 15% of readers start reading at the back page of a newsletter and work their way to the front page.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Creative, Low Budget Design Tips

The low-budget project can be the bane of a designer’s existence, or it can be an exciting challenge. With a low-budget project, the client usually has everything to lose. This letterhead project is probably all he or she can afford, perhaps for months or even years. It has to do the job right, or there may never be a second chance.
You will find that it is possible to do a lot with a little.
  • Make a low budget into an asset by producing a package that’s stylishly down-at-the-heels.
  • Spend the bulk of a client’s budget on one expensive but attention-getting element: a heavy paper, a die cut, engraving, or embossing.
  • Rely on a strong design in one or two colors, with ordinary offset printing on common paper stocks.
Producing nice layouts and stunning graphics is only half the battle. Solving your client’s design problems is the other half. As a designer, you must try to create practical and aesthetic designs targeted to your client (and your client’s clients). Here are a few tips for achieving those goals:
  • Printing
Most letterhead is printed with offset lithography, which offers more options than most people use. Die cuts, foil-stamping (a specialty printing service), varnishes, and a variety of other printing tricks can help make a piece stand out.
  • Logos
Most established companies have corporate logos that must be included in their printed products. While corporate identity design goes far beyond the scope of this article, even an outdated or downright ugly logo can, if used creatively, be part of a fresh, new design.
  • Artwork
Artwork gives a piece personality. It communicates without words and targets the emotions. Using scanners and laser printers, even clients with small budgets can reproduce personal photos and copyright-free images for their printed pieces.
Use these tips, and represent your client, not as you think they ought to be, but as they are. Your work is sure to do its job. Then you will, indeed, be a great designer.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, direct marketing – 318.868.3351

DESIGN – Variation on a Theme

Choosing an appropriate color palette is an important step in creating great design. Using the right mixture of colors is what gives life to the images you create and combine. But perhaps the best way to ensure you are using your colors to their full potential is to experiment with the placement of each color.
This variation on a theme, as seen above, serves to change the look and feel to give you a look that supports the image’s message. The key to variation is experimentation. When you stumble upon the combination that works best, you’ll be glad you took the time.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Eye-Teasing Design Tips

When working in graphic design, making things look good may seem like the right thing to do, but perhaps making things attract attention should be your goal. Attracting attention can often be done by creating tension in the eyes of the viewers. Tension is defined as balanced relation between strongly opposing elements, or the interplay of conflicting elements. This tension or conflict will cause viewers to stop and take a closer look at your design in hopes of uncovering what is making them subconsciously uncomfortable.
Here are a few tension creating tips to intrigue your viewers:
  • Barely touching elements tease the viewers. Their eyes are drawn to this point of almost intersection, and they keep checking to see if the items really touch.
  • Design decisions that appear tentative, such as elements that are off-kilter, can cause conflict because the viewer will naturally want things to be straight and orderly. Deliberately placing images off balance, as long as it isn’t overdone, can help capture a viewer’s attention.
  • Using complementary colors next to each other, especially when there is a shared edge, can cause a vibration in your design. This is because each color is vying for dominance in the eyes of your viewer. Choose your colors to attract attention.
  • Using these techniques at some of the focal points of your piece, such as the center, and the corners, will retain the viewer’s interest as they digest all that your piece has to say.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Do-It-Yourself Letterhead

Letterhead is one of the key elements to your corporate identity. It is ground zero from a design standpoint. The layout, typestyles, and colors you establish here dictate the design of all the pieces that follow — from your business cards and envelopes to your website brochure.
Why the letterhead? Because it is typically used to present the most important one-on-one personal communications — introductions, proposals, requests, personal messages, and such — the written greetings that require you to look your best.
Creating a striking design will create a favorable impression for your organization.
Here are a few helpful hints for designing a great letterhead:
  • Choose a smooth paper for your letterhead. It will print more evenly in your office’s laser printers.
  • A strong logo, placed in a prominent position, creates a focal point for your letterhead.
  • Using a bleed in your letterhead design looks wonderful, but will add to the cost of the completed project, because it must be printed on oversize paper, and then trimmed to 81/2×11.
  • When choosing a paper for your letterhead, it is often a good idea to check with us to see if matching envelopes are available. You might also want to check the folding characteristics of the paper, since most letterhead are folded and inserted into a #10 envelope.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, design – 318.868.3351

Design That’s as Easy as A-B-C

When most people think of design elements, individual letters aren’t the first things that come to mind. Sure, selecting an appropriate typeface to complement the overall look or feel of a design is essential. But letters themselves (and the words they create) tend to be more the domain of literary artists.
If you stop to think about it, though, letters truly are visual elements. By themselves, each represents a particular sound or group of sounds. Grouped together, they represent various thoughts and ideas. Even more to the point, though, each letter has its own unique set of shapes. The S, for instance, has its sweeping curves, and the A has its crisp lines and angled peak.
With that in mind, can an entire design focus around a single letter form? Can an individual letter represent an entire idea on its own? Could the letter V, for instance, become a visual metaphor for anxiety? Or the letter X somehow display order? Take a look at the designs pictured here, and see for yourself. As you’ll see, each is based around a single letter form, which has been used to convey the desired emotion or idea.
So, the next time you find yourself facing a blank screen, with no idea how to proceed, remember these words… and, more importantly, the letters used to make them.



#1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, design.

Design Direct Mail That Sells

If it sells, it is creative. This, in essence, is the first rule of direct mail design, according to legendary designer and author, David Ogilvy. But what sells?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your next direct mail marketing piece:
The basics are in your mailbox.
When you need inspiration, just go to your own personal direct mail idea vault… your mailbox! You probably receive tons of good direct mail each year. Set aside packages that catch your eye. The companies mailing these have spent thousands of dollars researching the best methods. Why not learn from their research?
Always try to beat your previous response rate.
Play around with the design before sending the mailing out again. See if minor changes make a significant difference in the response rate.
Send out different versions of your design to similar groups in your database, and test to see which one results in the most responses. Whatever you do, test it, and then test it again!
Use words that grab the reader’s attention.
Here is a recent list of “Words that Grab Attention,” produced by Starch INRA Hooper Research Worldwide:
Announcing / Discover / Easy / Exclusive / Free / Guarantee / Health / Help / Immediately / Introducing / Know / Learn / Love / Money / New / Now / Powerful / Profits / Protect / Proven / Results / Safe / Save / Secret(s) / Today / Trust / Understand / You
As you design the mailer, remember… have fun!

http://www.ParagonPress.net / Over 34 years, #1 in Shreveport, LA for print, design, mail.

Getting smarter?

The folks here at Paragon Press continue to research ways to get smarter as it relates to social media marketing, SEO, PPC, web redesign, generating leads, converting leads into sales, etc, etc. It’s truly OVERWHELMING how much information and how many free resources (webinars, e-books, white papers, articles, blogs, e-newsletters, emails, etc) are out there. If someone tells you they’re not up to speed on what’s happening in the world of inbound marketing, it’s because they haven’t logged on to the internet lately, right? I’m grateful for all the info, yet know that we must prioritize and do it little by little, day by day…better than doing nothing at all!

joan@paragonpress.net / www.ParagonPress.net / Over 34 years, #1 in Shreveport, LA for PRINT, DESIGN, MAIL.