EVENTful A GUIDE TO GOOD DESIGN AND PRINT

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1 EVENTful A GUIDE TO GOOD DESIGN AND PRINT Posters, flyers, leaflets & advertisements Good design conveys information and communicates ideas easily. Graphic designers are best placed to create visually appealing marketing materials. However, if budgets are limited and you are producing design yourself, here are some tips. THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF GOOD DESIGN Balance Balance is based on the notion the whole is the sum of its parts. Look at how the different design elements are organised to create this whole and ask yourself is the layout even, symmetrical and well-proportioned?. Don t be afraid of white space. Contrast Contrast provides necessary variety. Without contrast, good design lacks energy. Balance (mentioned above) helps to maintain proportion, and contrast adds interest. But too much contrast makes it confusing and to the eye so take care. Create contrast by experimenting with different sized elements of the same kind such as images and typefaces. Use harmonising, complementary and opposite colours; and experiment with shades or tints of a single colour - the further apart the values the greater the contrast. Movement and Direction When design elements are arranged well, movement is created. This helps lead the viewer s eye from one point to another. Experiment with placing content and imagery in different ways and see what catches the eye first. Alignment The concept of alignment says that everything on a page should be visually connected to something else. Nothing should be placed arbitrarily. This creates a clean, sophisticated and fresh look. Repetition Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece such as colours, shapes, textures, fonts, line thicknesses, etc. This gives coherence and strengthens unity. Proximity Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. This helps organise information, reduces clutter, and gives the reader a clear structure. Economy and space This is based on the less is more principle. Simplicity emphasises the design s intent, and space (white space) does much the same by helping important information stand out. Branding Branding is how you tell people who you are. Think of it as your event or festival s personality. Branding elements such as a logo, consistent colours and identifiable imagery help to identify and differentiate your organisation or event from others.

2 How to create an eye-catching layout Heading/Headline! Your main heading is normally the focal point of your design. Make it big and bold.! Use as few words as possible so that it can be read quickly and easily.! Use a sans serif font type (without the little feet or serifs ) such as Arial, Helvetica or Futura. Sub-heading! A sub-heading is a short, detailed caption that summarises the key information of the event and is normally placed below the main heading.! Set this in smaller or lighter type to add contrast to the main heading, and remember the proximity principle that helps maintain a clear structure.! The main heading and the sub-heading may be all that a reader might read, so attempt to get the main messages across in these headings as well as the name of your organisation (if this is not obvious from your logo). Logo! A logo identifies your organisation and is one of your main branding elements. Make sure it is placed prominently within the design. Copy! If there s room for copy use this space to tell readers key information about the event (who, what, where, when, how much).! Use a serif font type (with the serifs or feet ) such as Times New Roman, Garamond or Palatino for readability.! Use upper and lower-case type throughout never use just upper case type; it s more difficult to read. Illustration! The main illustration could be a photograph, drawing or a digital image. Ask yourself what best illustrates the event/festival you are promoting and will have most impact.! Choose an image that is clear, bold and appealing. An image is likely to be the first thing that catches someone s eye.! Think about it from your reader s perspective, what would get them interested?! Many photographers/artists specify image captions. These should be set alongside or to the edge of an image in much smaller type.! Make sure the images you use are not under copyright by anyone else. THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL Events and festivals use many different kinds of promotional material from flyers and leaflets to posters and advertisements. If you are producing a package of materials, it s important to remember consistency of design across all types so that people will instantly recognise and connect the various pieces to your event. The Poster A poster is a headline piece of print that needs to be eye-catching enough to get noticed from a distance and to convey prominent messages quickly and effectively. Think about where your poster will be displayed and choose an appropriate size. A standard poster size for indoor use is 18 x 24 and for outdoor use is 24 x 36.

3 ! If it s an outdoor poster, make the essential information large and clear enough to be read from a moving car or from the other side of the street. Use at least a 24-point type size for the main text, with a title type of at least 1.5 inches high.! Keep text to a minimum, stick to an eyecatching image and a small number of words.! Include main event information: the organisation (if necessary), the event, location, date and time.! If there s room for anything else, think about what would sell the event in three or four words, e.g. kids go free weekends, tickets selling fast, good seats Monday! If the poster is in an indoor location where people have more time to read it, such as a library, arts centre or tourist information centre, then it can carry more information. The Flyer A flyer is a cost effective method of spreading the word about an event or festival to a wide audience. It can be single or double-sided, colour or black-and-white, custom-sized or designed to standard sizes of A5 (210mm x 148mm), A6 (148mm x 105mm), or DL (1/3 A4 105mm x 210mm). It quickly and effectively gets your event information out to audiences and can be:! Posted as a mail-shot! Posted with regular correspondence such as invoices or press packs! Handed out at business and networking events! Delivered door-to-door! Packed inside orders! Inserted in the local newspaper or targeted publications! Distributed to and displayed at Tourist Information Centres! Distributed and displayed at arts-related outlets, other venues, community centres, etc.! Flyers compete with hundreds of other flyers so focus on a design that grabs peoples attention. Be creative, and experiment with the contrast principle that encourages design elements to stand out.! A flyer provides space to present more information and to answer customers questions. But avoid having non-essential information every word needs to have a strong reason to be there.! Include a clear call to action message, i.e. the next step you want your reader to take such as call, visit, logon to a website, book tickets The Leaflet Leaflets tend to have longer-term uses than flyers such as promoting a programme of events or including general information about your organisation. Popular sizes are A5 (210mm x 148mm) or DL (1/3 A4 105mm x 210mm).! A leaflet is not under the same pressure as a poster or a flyer to grab people s attention immediately, however it must be appealing enough to make people want to pick it up and read it. And again avoid too many unnecessary words.! Concentrate on attractive imagery and colour that helps readers visualise your programme of events, and add contrast with

4 bold typefaces for headings that catch the eye.! Be consistent with your branding elements throughout.! Choose a typeface for the body content that is easy on the eye and readable with a minimum point size of 10 or 12, e.g. Helvetica, Garamond, Times New Roman! Highlight key information that needs to stand out, e.g. event dates, contact details, web address! Include a prominent call to action so readers know what to do next, e.g. visit your website, call to book tickets, enter a competition! Use the back cover to include information about your event or organisation such as contact details, opening hours etc. The display advertisement You may need to advertise your event or festival in a news publication, arts magazine, community listing, or local listings publication. Or take some ad space with a bit of editorial.! Space is at a premium, so treat these ads in a similar way to a poster design that captures the essential information in an eye-catching way and sets it apart from the surrounding competition.! The text will need to stand out so write a compelling heading/strapline using a bold font and contrasting background.! Ask the publisher for artwork specification that includes costs for various sizes, and colour versus black-and-white. Also, find out how they need you to provide the artwork, e.g. ed as a pdf document that is ready to slot into the allocated space, or sent on disk. And how do they need images if they re not already placed within a pdf, i.e. their resolution, size, and file format? Working with graphic designers If you have the budget to hire a graphic designer make sure you provide them with an accurate design brief of the project. A brief is a written outline of the goals and objectives of a design project. It covers the scope of work required, what you want them to produce and provides background information including mandatories (such as logos, text, pictures); and helps the designer to produce relevant and focused work as well as keeping costs down (less unnecessary amends). You should agree a budget in advance for the work specified. The more clues you give about your design preferences, the more likely the designer will be able to produce something close to your aims. It s also useful to provide examples of what you consider to be effective or relevant design, as well as examples of current marketing materials (even if their purpose is to explain what you don t want from your new ones!). Your designer will outline what can be produced within a budget and timeframe and will do their best to meet your expectations. They will also be able to advise on paper types and formats best suited to your project. Keep communicating during the design process and don t be afraid of giving constructive criticism.

5 Discuss print arrangements with the designer. They may have favourite printers who offer comparable quotes to your usual printer. WORKING WITH PRINTERS The two most common forms of printing for everyday business use are digital and offset lithography. FURTHER INFORMATION! Digital printing (when prints are produced from data sent directly to the machine from a computer) is rapidly becoming the chosen form of printing for most promotional materials these days. Large format digital printing is generally used for posters. Knowing how to communicate the technical requirements of your print project to your printer will make the process easier and may well get you a better price too. The essential details the printer will need are: size, stock, colours, pages, finishing, and quantity. Costs of paper can vary greatly depending on the quality and make. If you re not sure of what stock to use, printers are happy to recommend and send samples. Printers will also advise on finishes so don t be afraid to ask their advice or provide you with (costed) options. Get at least three quotes from three different printers quotes can vary considerably.

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