The 3 Foundations Of Effective Print Design
In this series you’ll learn the top 3 things you need to create print assets that deepen your client relationships, and create lasting impact for your business.
The Importance of Consistent Branding For Print
What is branding?
Often when people hear the word branding, they think of a logo. But the concept of branding is much bigger than that.
Branding defines who you are as a business.
- Your mission, vision, values
- Your tone of voice
- And your visual representation
If any one of these pieces is out of alignment, you’ll begin to come across as inauthentic or confusing. Leading potential customers to look elsewhere to fulfill their needs.
Before you invest in print assets, it’s important to have a solid brand developed.
The best brands are developed through a mix of your own experience and the support of marketing, design, and copywriting professionals.
How Does Branding Affect Your Print Assets?
I’m going to be super cliche here and say, “How does branding NOT affect your print assets?” The simple fact that you’re looking to invest in print assets is a reflection of your brand.
For example, when I started my business in 2017, I was eager to create my first print asset.
At the time, I was attending a ton of in-person networking events, so I decided to design my own business cards. While I had developed the visual aspects of my brand, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about the aspects of my brand. My business cards provided more questions than answers. And undoubtedly quickly found their way into many trashcans.
I recall one single phone call I received from handing out my card. And it was from someone who was “offering me a great exposure opportunity” in exchange for my services.
Not the business building opportunity I was looking for.
Fast forward a few years and I’m working on a different set of business cards. This time for my client Chris Cloney at Dust Safety Science.
Chris’ cards were created with one goal in mind: To get people to sign up for a virtual conference. He took his cards to an event full of his ideal client and ended up with many sign ups.
Why did one card outperform the other?
It starts with the upfront development of the brand.
When I created my business cards:
- My brand had no mission beyond me wanting to start a design business.
- I hadn’t found my voice.
- I had the visuals down, but they couldn’t hold down the fort alone.
When we created the business cards for Dust Safety Science:
- Chris had his brand well developed. He started with his mission – to reach a year of zero fatalities from combustible dust incidents by 2030.
- He’d developed his voice – through the consistent creation of content
- He’d developed his visual brand – through working with your’s truly – for the record, I don’t do branding anymore, but I can hook you up with some amazing people.
While this example uses business cards, the lesson applies to any print asset – and arguably any marketing asset – you create.
A well developed brand is the first building block to creating an effective print asset.
What exactly do I need before I invest in print assets for my high ticket clients?
Consider this your checklist for prepping your brand for print:
- Know your mission, vision, and values. Maybe you’re traditional and have these spelled out on your website, or maybe they’re written in your journal. But either way, you have a solid set of guidelines that you use to guide your business decisions.
- A clear voice. Your social posts, emails and website use a consistent tone of voice.
- Consistent visual brand elements. Logo, colours, fonts, images, icons, and patterns.***Bonus points if you have all of these pieces together in a brand guide!
Branding = maximum creativity
Let’s be honest, you’re not cookie cutter. And you’re not looking for cookie cutter print solutions. Whether you’re looking to deepen your client relationships, create a product to sell, or maximize your brand recognition, a well developed brand provides the constraints to foster unique and creative print experiences.
Ready to dust off that print idea that’s been lingering in the back of your mind for years?
A Little More Printspiration
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