Here is the first pass at the web page. This only represents the color scheme and the layout. I think I want to add a photo montage for the top of the page. You know something expected, remember I’m going for strong dependable and yes maybe not predictable certainly not surprising or unpredictable. Notice however, client sign-in. That’s where clients of Parker Payroll can sign-in and enter their payroll data safely and securely. When I really have it ready I will do a couple of pages and provide a link that will go to a mini site within my web site that will have linked pages providing a true user experience.
You had an illustration, ad or some sort of identifier made for your conference, gala or grand opening. Is it too small? Does it not enlarge well on a banner? Does it not shrink well onto a postcard or flyer? These are considerations your designer will have asked about or topics you should raise. That’s why planning is important. Consider the following:
Show me one thing. Just one. Flyer? What’s the first thing you want to say? Meeting. New software program. Changes in policy. Pick one thing. Make that one thing the first thing you see. Now who you are and what you are, are indeed important. I’m a big believer in logos and company identity. You have to decide, can who you are come after? If it is an in-house piece for sure it can. And you still need to include it. Yes, use your branding, never miss an opportunity to reinforce your branding. But it doesn’t have to be the lead story. For example, your company is sponsoring an event. The event isn’t going to help your business, it isn’t going create awareness in your field. You’re just nice people doing something nice. So sure, make the event or whatever it is foremost. It’s okay. Show me one thing first. Show me something else second. Company name, branding, part II of part I. See the example below.
Are you using photographic images in your work? Do you only use photos for newsletters and web sites or anything you use images for? Have you considered illustration? No, you have not. Maybe it’s because you think it means paying for expensive art. I mean, why would you pay for art for a newsletter? You wouldn’t. But what if you could add some illustration elements to a photograph to add interest? Would you do that? There are lots of photo editing software that comes with a software package or resident on your computer that allows you to add lines, or change colors of photos. There are even free web sites online that will allow you to alter a photo. Just remember to make sure that it is a photo you own. If you Google, free photo altering sites, you will find a plethora of options. Spend a little time, get creative, it will provide interest to your regular missives and a bit of creativity is good for your mind.
You know, of course, from your diligent and loyal reading of this blog about type size. What size is the U. S. government’s print standard (ahem—12 point). You also know that sometimes you have a to go bigger or smaller depending on space. How big is too big? How small is too small? How do fill a space when you don’t have enough copy? What about when you have too much?
Making type really big makes it look childish
Making type too small and no one will bother to read it
Consider the following to make type not just fit but look right
Do you have an image you can make larger or smaller? If you are going smaller
instead of shrinking the image can you crop it?
Can you make the margins wider, narrower?
Can you make the space after the paragraph larger or smaller? There should always be a designated space after paragraphs and the space is not an extra return.
If your software allows it can you make the line spacing wider?
Can headers be larger, smaller?
Can the article or paper title be larger, smaller?
I am sure you may even be able to think of some others.
Get a template. You already use old documents as templates all the time. Make it a little more formal. It isn’t that much more to it. Next time you sit down to do that report, newsletter, letter anything, take a moment and do this: create a labeled document.
By taking the time to do this you are doing a number of things.
- You are being consistent in your document
- You are creating a style, a consistent look and feel
- You are setting the standard for others to follow
- You are putting the professional polish on your work
- You might even be able to pass this task on to someone else
How long, how short should copy be? You either get too much copy or not enough; never ever just right. How large do you dare make type, how small? Can you fluctuate type size between panels on a two-fold (3 panel) brochure? Please don’t. Some one has actually given you an item for the newsletter. Do you devote the whole thing to some one’s passion for winemaking? Maybe, if samples are provided, but never mind, not the point. After examining, many (1) of my own brochures and newsletters (also 1) I had figured out a general guideline for copy for a basic brochure and newsletter.
Three panel brochure inside page, with two medium images: approximately 850 words
Three-column newsletter page with one image and one pull quote: approximately 650 words
Now obviously this is just a guide. Both counts are using Times at 12 point. Different type and type size will have different a word count, still, this will give you a ballpark figure to work with.