So you are ready to get started on your next promotion. It’s time to call on your favorite design team at LKCS to get the fun part started. “What do I have?” and “What do they need?” are thoughts that (hopefully) come to mind when you are ready to contact us. I have compiled a list of questions that can help guide you on the information I need to ensure the design of your promotion runs smoothly.
What is your budget?
Knowing what your budget is for this project will help us to determine how much time we can spend to give you a quality design without any unexpected surprises when the final project is billed.
Do you have any design ideas in mind I should take into consideration?
Do you have a specific image or headline you absolutely MUST see in your promo? Let’s say you are ready to start promoting your next auto loan. Do you wish to see a literal image (a person being handed the keys with a huge smile) or a lifestyle image (a large family loading the car with luggage in preparation for a road trip)? Or, will you give me free reign and let me have fun with creativity? (my favorite, wink, wink)
What is your copy?
One of the best gifts you can give your designer is, you guessed it, the copy! Providing the designer with your complete copy at the start of the project gives us the opportunity to visualize ideas and a layout. Trying to start a project with partial or no copy leaves us guessing on how to create a design that can be altered if you later send us a lot of copy or if the content changes and a new design has to be created.
- Do you have a headline or should we come up with one for you?
- Is there a featured rate and/or are there special details that we should call attention to? We understand rates can change at the last minute. Don’t know the rate yet? Not a problem. Often times, it is suggested to us to use the rate from the last promotion and get “the look” in place.
- What legal disclosures should I make space for? Some are long, some are short. Even though the text is small, it is still an element to account for.
- What is the timeframe of the promotion? Maybe you are ahead of the game and this promo will not start until next quarter. Great for you! But letting us know this help us determine if we choose to include blooming flowers versus falling leaves.
- What contact information should I add? We believe your logo and website should be on everything. Understanding the audience will help you determine which piece gets a full list of contact information (every branch address and every phone number), an abbreviated version (just the branch location), or simply none at all! Let me expand on this. Posters or banners displayed inhouse do not need all branch locations, phone numbers, etc. as the account holder is already inside your branch and familiar with your institution. Newspaper ads and magazine ads should include more contact information because they reach a wider audience that includes non-account holders that are unfamiliar with your institution.
Is this promotion part of a campaign that will consist of multiple projects in a variety of sizes?
Do you need a banner, posters, newspaper ads, postcards, onserts, and banner ads? I love being able to take my design and convert it into multiple sizes. But, knowing this ahead of time is key! Why? When we start a project for a vertical, black and white newspaper ad, we design it just as that, 1 color black to the specific size you have requested. (If you tell us 3″x5″, to a designer this is 3″ wide by 5″ high. Designers read measurements as width by height, NOT height by width.) When a client comes back and says it is approved but now make this a four-color billboard, we essentially need to recreate the artwork for three reasons:
- First, if the artwork has a vertical composition (picture a convertible carrying a passenger with arms stretched into the air), how will this fit on a horizontal billboard? Do I crop the arms? Do I crop the vehicle? Or will it fit if we blend in other images to complete the background? The designer may luck out and be able to find another image that contains the same subject(s) but we don’t always have such luck and need another graphic. When we know in advance that the artwork will be used for both orientations, we choose images that work well for each.
- Second, we have likely already converted it to the grayscale color mode and that conversion cannot be reversed. Oftentimes, I create a four color version and save this on the side because it is better to be safe than sorry and have to do double the work.
- Third, enlarging raster images (think photograph) creates an image with low resolution because you are enlarging the same number of pixels to a larger size, creating the image that is it is blurry. If we start on the largest size first, we can scale down to any size without lowering the quality of the image. This theory applies to artwork containing raster images rather than vector (think line art), which can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.
Getting ready to start a design for your promotion is very exciting! I hope this post has helped you understand what information I need to be able to jump right in and start the design of your next successful promotion!