The basic principles for effective design are the same for web and print.
The most important thing to remember is that you are trying to promote something. You have a few seconds at most to get the viewer to glance at your page, get the gist, and either read on, call, or have a favorable enough impression to consider (and REMEMBER) you later!
Keep your cover or homepage as simple as possible, use it as a lure to entice the viewer to read on. Additional information can be put on your inside or secondary pages.
Your cover or home page must have visual punch to grab attention in the first place.
You can use:
- an atypical layout or fold to lure the viewer with visual suspense or surprise.
- a striking image.
- a clever phrase (hire a good copy writer if necessary—it is one of those investments that can really pay off).
- unusual texture, such as a background with burlap or paint strokes to establish a tactile sense. The more senses you evoke, the more likely the viewer is to remember—however, your background must not compete with your text!
- perspective to draw the viewer in.
- color, but be careful! People respond in very individual ways to color—one person’s dazzling pink is another’s Pepto Bismol! Web colors vary hugely from one monitor to another. Remember, if a design must rely on color alone for visual interest, it is not a very good design!
- movement and sound but again, be careful—see “common mistakes”.
- "Empty” space is OK. Some clients seem to be allergic to white space. Empty or “negative” space can actually be a strong design element, be sure to keep it in your repertoire.
- Know your user. Make sure you know your target audience and gear your promotion to them.
- Know yourself. What is your goal? What image are you trying to portray? How will this brochure, website or newsletter help accomplish your goal?
- Keep a common thread. All your pages should have a consistent look and feel.
- Use type effectively! Type handling is much more challenging than most people realize and if your text cannot be read instantaneously and easily, people will not read it. If people do not read your text, you cannot possibly get your point across. This is so important I’ve given it its own tab, “Type Handling Tips”.
When all is said and done, nothing promotes your business better than your direct contact with potential clients. Encourage viewers to call and/or meet with you. For that matter, call me, Karen Rolnick, at 917-971-9679, to discuss your design needs! I will be happy to answer your questions!