My label is Graphic Designer, but what I really do is solve problems. The first problem is helping my clients determine what product they need in order to attract their perfect customer, so they can make more money.
My client asks for a 3-fold brochure design, but is that what they really need? For example, will a 3-fold, standard sized brochure, that fits into a sales rack do the job — or would a two-sided rack-card with bullet points better serve and attract their ideal customer? Maybe they have so much information about their product or service that they need a 4 or 5-fold brochure with a tear-off mailer, instead.
What is my client trying to communicate?
• Special sale or limited time offer?
• General information: what they sell, where they’re located, how to get in touch?
• Are they soliciting donations?
The Design Decisions
Not only do I solve problems as a designer I make lots of decisions that effect other decisions like:
• headline size
• headline color
• headline position
• Does the headline need a bold color band behind it?
• font type
• font size
• Does it look best left, right or centered on the page?
Where to show-off their logo:
• placement on the page
• Should it be on every page?
A Real-life Design Problem
One day I met with a committee of four. Each headed their own department, but they shared a common mission: They needed to raise money for their organization, individually and as a group.
They had worked with other designers in the past, and all designers had given them brochures with a front cover photo containing at least four of something. One designer even convinced them that a colony of penguins was the perfect solution to their fundraising mission. Many of their donors may have indeed, looked as regal as the Emperor Penguin, but they were not raising money for birds. They were raising money to help college students.
About 40 minutes into our first the meeting I was beginning to notice tension building between the four department heads. “They all want their own cover,” I thought, but knew they were only going to agree to printing one brochure.
Having lots of experience with paper, paper folding, and brochure design, I knew that:
1. a brochure has a front and back side = 2 new covers
2. if the brochure could be folded inside out it = 2 more new covers
When I suggested a unique fold that would allow each department head to have their own cover, the room went silent. I then added, “A brochure with four distinct, but related covers, would also help tell the story about your mission: four different departments working together to raise money for one cause. Furthermore, the donation form would be written to clearly state that donors could give to all four departments, or to one or more departments, individually.”
Suddenly everyone was getting along, once again.
Today, this brochure is in its third printing. Occasionally I’ll be asked to swop out the cover photo but the overall design shows no signs of strain because
1. it works, and
2. new donor prospects keep being added to their mailing list.
Another win-win, and another graphic design problem solved.
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