I can take a pile of word documents and turn them into a stunning well organised annual report with a strong visual concept to hold it all together and tell the story. Catalogues with prices and product shots can easily be made to look good and be a great selling tool for you.
When you have a lot of information, it’s important to format it logically and clearly to make it readable. It’s hard to know where to start especially if you are too close to the information and it’s meaning. When you collate your pile of documents you may suffer from the illusion that it’s all really interesting and tangible because you know it inside out. A designer can look at it from the perspective of someone coming in from the outside and encountering this data for the first time because…well they are. In other words initially your designer shares the perspective of the potential reader.
The designer will start to break your information down into types of information to be formatted in consistent ways, titles, subtitles, body copy etc. If you or your colleagues have already done this in microsoft word, great! The designer however will be able to take it further. With the careful and knowledgable application of colour, fonts and spacing, screeds of text can be transformed into something with impact and flow, something easily digestible. There are a thousand considerations and decisions to be made when it comes to good layout and using space wisely that a business person just doesn’t have the experience with typography to undertake. A designer does it all by second nature with expediency but will leave you marvelling at how the use of a little crafting of the text can breath life into the document and make people want to engage with it.
Not only that but your designer is an expert storyteller and words are only part of the story. Back in caveman times the storyteller used playacting, flickering firelight and cave drawings to bring a story to life. Today the designer will use the printed image. This may take the form of illustration or high quality photographs which psychologically have huge impact on conveying your messages powerfully. Ideally you will give your designer some budget for photographs or team them up with a photographer or illustrator to give the designer great content to work with. However if budget is limited a skilful designer can often create content themselves or use stock imagery that although not specific to your company will be a fraction of the price of hiring a photographer. Often clients will balk at the suggestion of paying for the use of a stock image but when they consider the alternative hourly rate of a photographer it all makes sense. Having said that, if you have the budget, nothing beats having your own stock image library with highly personalised and quality images of your staff, your premises, your story!
My biggest money saving tip for working with designers and big documents is if you are not working to a looming deadline please do have your text edited as much as possible before handing it over. Time is money and it does take time to constantly be opening a document, finding a page and fixing up errors. The client can save themselves money by making sure that wherever possible, whats handed over is the final copy. Although designers will happily allow you to pay them for copy editing time it doesn’t make sense for this to be done at designers rates. They would rather be doing what they are experts at and be crafting a beautiful, powerful document then be fixing typos.
Have a look at some examples of layout work by me.