A growing number of print service providers have added design to their service offerings. If you haven’t ventured there yet, consider the many advantages to bringing design in house. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as placing a help wanted ad. Design is a broad area and graphic designers come in many flavors and with many specialties.
The designer you choose to hire must be the right fit for the work your company produces and match your organizational culture. An understanding of the print process and its intricacies is, of course, mandatory.
A significant percentage of designers have little to no experience in creating print projects. When they shift to printed materials, this lack of knowledge can cause them to make design decisions that add unnecessary costs and make it tough for printers to produce the product the designers envisioned. Designers accustomed to working in digital channels may not be conscious of the details that determine the success or failure of a print project.
Educating designers about print has become important as more businesses are realizing the new role print plays in overall marketing strategies. An organization cannot always achieve their marketing objectives with a digital-only approach.
Printers often focus on how a project looks. Are the colors right? Is the registration exact? Any smears or smudges? Are the graphics and text sharp and clear? These are all important, of course, but we usually base the analysis on what we can see, hold, and touch. How often do you consider the suitability of a printed piece for someone with a disability? Nearly a quarter of the global population is disabled, and regulations like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) make looking at a piece from an accessibility aspect important.
Today, the most effective marketing programs are fueled by data, which can be an anxious topic for creative people. It doesn’t have to be. Learning some basics about data is all it takes to leverage the power of data and avoid mistakes that result in re-working the design.
Why is data important?
When it’s used properly, data can increase customer engagement and responses. The more you know about your recipients, and can use that knowledge to drive the images, text, and offers, the better you can create meaningful communications. A customers’ shopping history, for example, can predict their interest in future purchases and allow you to design interesting offers to which they are more likely to respond.
Even the most basic information about your targets such as location, gender, and age can make a big difference, turning a generic campaign into one that is personalized.