Intro by Skip Cohen
Here’s the fun in today’s guest post from Beverly Walden’s archives, it’s about the importance of design, and she even shares a few tips to help you raise the bar on the way your material looks. The fun for me comes into play because so many of you don’t have Beverly’s skill set in designing your own material, but you’ve got Marathon’s expertise and just a phone call away.
Plus, great design is essential to every aspect of your business. So many of you have websites, blogs and support material that reminds me of the way my Dad used to dress when my mother wasn’t around – nothing matched! In fact, one of the last things I promised my mother before she passed away was that we’d make sure Dad’s clothes matched. It brought a smile and tears to both of us.
So, pay attention to everything people see that represents you. From business cards to pamphlets, direct mail pieces your website and blog – don’t forget about design. You can look like Walmart or Nordstroms. You’ve got a choice to make a visit to your website and blog a pleasing experience that’s both functional and professional looking!
By Beverly Walden
Design should never say, “Come look at me!” It should always say, “Come look at this!” It is so interesting to see the different approaches of photographers, not only to their photography but their websites as well.
I started thinking about design, how much I love great design and how my emotions are touched by it. It is such a monumental part of my life now; design projects are where I get inspired and have so much freedom and fulfillment when I can pull off something that looks enticing and gives great joy.
Recently, while designing several e-zines we use, I realized a few things about design. These were principles I knew, but they were reinforced by having to structure an entire magazine, so I thought I would share two that stood out.
- Every design piece must be simple, easy to read and quick to understand. This is the “utility” part of designing. Everything must function correctly, grammar must be correct, the text must be laid on the page where it is easy on the eyes and the message must be clear and easy to understand.
I make sure that for every text-heavy page, it is followed by a design page with a quote plus an image with a lot of negative space around it-this gives the eyes a place to rest and take a breath, so to speak! I think of these pages like an oasis in the desert.
- Every design piece must be compelling and draw the reader in. This is where two things combine for me; beauty and emotion. By using unique fonts, colors and images along with creative page layouts, I know I can make any publication beautiful. Emotion comes in the stories and quotes and adds to the mix to create pieces that are easy to read and also delightful.
Don Norman, an author and engineering professor said,
“Aesthetics matter. Attractive things work better.”
Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind” says this,
“Good design, now more accessible and affordable than ever, also offers us a chance to bring pleasure, meaning and beauty to our lives. But most important, cultivating a design sensibility can make our small planet a better place for us all.”
I love that thought of bringing pleasure, meaning and beauty when I sit down to design pieces in Photoshop. It takes my breath away when I think of how far and how fast we have come from the days of outsourcing all of our printing jobs that are now so easy to either print on our printers or upload to other companies.
Digital technology has opened many new doors in this arena and I am thankful. Finally, remember your design pieces speak volumes about who you are as a person and as a business, so be picky…be very picky!