In creating promotional materials, it is critical to know who your audience is and who you are targeting with the materials. Knowing your audience is important because it will determine how much time they are likely to look at your promotional material. This information will also help you when developing your design and text because throughout the process you can ask: does the text and design make sense to my targeted audience?
When designing your layout, you must decide what information you want your audience to see and in what order you want them to see the information. No matter what, the first thing that your reader should see is the piece of information that is the most important piece of information of your promotional material.
•Any additional information that your audience might need
When designing your materials, you need to keep the 3 second, 30 second, and 3-minute Rule in mind. That is the time that you have to grab your audience’s attention. Let me break it down for you.
3 Seconds – Is the time you have to grab your audience’s attention. The title, which defines what the topic is, must be the most prominent. The title must clearly inform the audience what the topic is. Once you get the reader’s attention, they are more likely to review your information for the next 30 seconds.
30 Seconds – The time that the audience will review the when, where and how much information or your promotional material. During this time, you really want to grab your audience’s attention because then they may give you up to 3 more minutes of attention.
3 Minutes – During this time the audience will take the time to become more informed about your topic or product. This is also the time where they are more likely to want to learn more about your information and will go online or contact you for more information. The time in which you MUST grab your audience’s attention is a few short, precious seconds. You only have a few precious seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Using the 3 seconds, 30 seconds, 3 minutes rule is vital in designing your design, text, and order of information.
Another important component to designing promotional materials is that More is Not Always Better! Having white space is critical, I always live by the motto; Less is More.
What is White Space? It is an area that does not have images, text or design elements. Many times people think white space is wasted space. White Space is very valuable to promotional materials because;
Allows the reader to focus on the important information of the materials
Balances the design of the material
Highlights your content
Allows the reader’s eyes to rest
Designs that do not have white space appear cluttered and are difficult to read. Studies show that when a reader is overwhelmed this way they bypass the information and focus on the clutter. Another way to avoid clutter in the design is to not use more than two fonts in your design. While they may be pretty, multiple fonts will not add dimension to your materials it will only confuse the reader and detract from the message you are trying to convey.
Once you identify the order of your information, follow the 3 second, 30 second, 3-minute rule, develop your design and allowing for white space your audience will look forward to receiving information from you. Below is an example of an order of information to use as an easy guide to jump-start your process. HAVE FUN!
Date of event
Location (Making sure to include street address, city, state, and zip)
Ticket price and where to purchase tickets, if applicable
A brief description of what the event is and what it includes (e.g. entertainment, fundraiser, and/or dinner).
Contact number and/or website URL to get more information