Out of my comfort zone – large scale artwork!

Most of my work is centred around creating small scale designs for use on corporate or commerical promotional material, but from time to time I am asked to design posters and exhibition signage, which naturally needs to be on a much larger scale. This type of design has to approached in a different way and any small imperfections become much more noticeable and are also completely inexcusable. I am used to having an eye for detail, but on large scale projects it is essential to continually step back and assess the design from afar.

5m-Large-Format-Solvent-Printer-With-Spt510-Printhead-ZY-SK-5300-I was recently commissioned to produce large scale artwork for a client who was due to exhibit at a big trade show in London. Their requirements were simple;

– eyecatching.

– promote the brand using their logo, stock photos and mission statement.

– promote their products.

– stand out enough to be visible from every aspect of the exhibition hall.

– be colourful, bright, fun and most importantly memorable.

They had supplied me with files, which included copies of their logo, photos, wording etc and asked me to come up with two versions, so that they could use it for future promotional material. I was also asked to design some leaflets, which would tie in with the exhibition artwork and carry the branding throughout. As you can imagine, it was a very big project and one that would take some time, but also one that I could really get my teeth into and would look fantastic for my portfolio.

Round Exhibition Stand from 200m2 webI was really proud of the two designs that I came up with and the client was equally impressed. Printed on high quality photographic paper the artwork was both professional and quirky at the same time. I was also in charge of setting the artwork up on the day of the exhibition as they wanted to ensure that my creative flair was still put to good use. To be honest all I really did was deliver the backdrops and leaflets and then offer some advice as to where I thought they might be best placed.  The stars of the show, other than my beautiful designs of course, were the amazing 200m² . 200m² are one of the UK’s leading exhibition stand contractors and my client had hired them for their show.  Now these guys not only hire out fantastic modular stands to suit every possible requirement you can think of, seriously you’ve got to check out their website for the impressive array of stands, they also set up and pack away the stands for you.  This ensures that both themselves and the client are fully insured against public liability and for any unseen loss or damages to the stands. How great is that? I have never seen a bunch of people take such pride and work so hard on setting up what ended up being the most eye catching stand at the show, even if I do say so myself! The client was over the moon and the stand looked stunning. The criteria had all been met and best of all reports came back from the client that it had been their most successful show to date.

So, yes, designing on a larger scale than I was used to definitely took me out of my comfort zone, but as an artist that is what it should be about.  I thrive on the pressure of having to create something that is different to what I am used to and in actual fact I think it may have been my most enjoyable project so far.

How to Create a Flyer that really gets your Business noticed.

With the success of social media and online marketing it is easy to forget about the more traditional methods of advertising, which can still be just as effective. Flyers and leaflets, although admittedly not great for the environment, still have their place as a mean of promoting your business. flyersThey not only help spread the word about your business, but they also help build your brand and create brand awareness to a relevant customer base. What is important is to create a flyer that looks professional, informs the customer exactly who you are and what you offer as well as standing out enough to not be automatically screwed up and put out with the recycling.

One of the first things you must consider is what message you want to portray in your flyer. and this also goes hand in hand with the audience that you are aiming at.  Ensure that you give specific details about what you are offering, but don’t make it too wordy. Remember that most people will only glance at a flyer, scanning for important information and then make a decision about whether they may be interested in you and your company.  Think about using a bold eye catching headline to grab the readers attention and then in a short phrase explain what you can offer them. Bullet points can be a good way of getting key information across, but be careful of making it look too organised and list like as again it may result in information overload. Less is generally more when it comes to tcxt on a flyer and the thing to remember is that if a customer does need more information, you can direct them to, for example, your website.

Keep to a simple structure of:

  • Eye catching headline.
  • A couple of bullet points about what you offer.
  • Contact information – telephone number, website address, email etc.
  • Any relevant testimonial you may have.

If you have a particularly glowing testimonial from a past customer, definitely consider putting this on your flyer, as it adds a personal quality and shows you are trustworthy.  It is also recommended that you use the word ‘you’ or ‘your’ within the text of your flyer as it gives the impression of talking directly to your reader and again helps add a personal touch. Never choose a font size lower than 10 point and choose a font style that is not too stylistic, you may think it looks nice but ultimately you need your information to be readable.

Contact information should generally be at the bottom of the flyer as it will be the last thing the reader sees and hopefully will be the thing that sticks in their mind.  It should be in a smaller font size than the headline, but still clear and in the same font style. One thing that can put some people off is if you use an 0800 number instead of a local code.  An 0800 number will often have a negative association with massive callcentres or even an automated telephone service, whereas a local number suggests that there will be a real person at the other end of the phone.

Prepare-for-Online-Degree-in-Graphic-DesignAn important element to consider is whether or not to include images on your flyer.  This will depend somewhat on the nature of your business, but more often than not it is a good idea to include one. Make sure the image is relevant and not a poor quality clip art picture.  perhaps include your logo to extend your brand or consider using a photo as the background for your entire flyer. One large image will have much more impact and look less cluttered than several small images. The image will act as a focal point as it will generally be the most colourful aspect of your flyer. Stock photos and images can be bought quite inexpensively on the internet from such places as Flickr Creative Commons or Shutterstock or alternatively if you are a bit of a design whizz you could use your own images. Just ensure that they are high quality, relevant and in keeping with your brand image.

Before sending your flyer design to the printers, make sure you proofread! I cannot express the importance of this enough.  One spelling mistake, one misprint of a telephone number or a missing ‘w’ from a website address and that’s it, you’ve made a completely useless flyer. Run the text through spellcheck on your computer, get a friend or business associate to read through it and then read and re-read it yourself.  You have got to get this 100% right!

If you have the money to spend I would thoroughly recommend employing the use of a professional designer. They will listen to your ideas and translate that using their design skills into a professional, high quality flyer. It will come at a price, but you can but assured that your flyers will look clean, professional and increase the branding of your company.