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Switch it up: five changes to make your print designs stand out

At PMG Print Management, our services encompass print design as well as traditional print management services. Our team of experts can breathe new life into your print designs, find ways to cut your print bill and even carry out a rebrand for you. Print design is sadly overlooked by many companies, which often cite the perceived lack of effectiveness of print when compared with digital alternatives. However, in many of these cases the problem is not the platform itself, but the print design. As with every aspect of your business, print designs should grow and change along with your company. By neglecting this process, you damage the potential of your print designs. Is it time to switch it up?


#1: Revisit your typeface choices

If you don’t want to commit to a full rebrand, you might assume that your hands are tied when it comes to upgrading your print designs. We understand if you don’t want the hassle of completely renovating your print designs, but we’ll happily point you towards any smaller upgrades you can make. Changing typefaces is one way to update your print designs – stay clear of altering any typefaces you use in your company logo, but make changes to the typeface you use in body text and for subtitles. This will provide a more gradual evolution to your print design than a full rebrand would. Search for typefaces that are clear, professional and not overused. Be sure to check your new choices with other staff (and even friends and family) before making a decision on typeface changes.


#2: Change paper sizes and formats

Standard paper sizes may be cheaper to print on, but you can add another dimension to your print design (sometimes literally) by changing your choice of paper. Opt for thicker card for a higher quality finish, or make use of folds, cuts and other design features to make your print designs more interactive. Instead of simply creating a standard booklet-style catalogue, add a thicker cover to it and perhaps make use of cutouts and other design tools to make it more interesting. Go beyond A4 and A5, and work on designs that make use of the tactile interactivity of printed designs.


#3: Evaluate colour and contrast

If you aren’t willing to carry out a complete rebrand, you must be careful about how you tweak colour in designs – you should always try and stick to your brand’s distinctive colour scheme. However, consider how these colours interact – and also their psychology. Use brighter colours to draw attention to your calls to action. Blues are trustworthy and professional. Yellows are optimistic. Think about how your current print designs use colour, and consider if you should switch things around to make better use of each colour’s personality. You may also wish to think about contrast. Contrast can be one of the most powerful elements of design. Use highly contrasting colours or shades to draw attention to important design elements, such as your contact details or the product name.


#4: Think about directional cues

Few companies can afford to use specialist eye tracking devices to see how their print designs are viewed by readers, but by gaining a basic understanding of directional cues you can improve readers’ engagement with the design elements you want them to pay most attention to. We’re all programmed to follow the gaze of other humans, so if you use models on your print designs, ensure that they are looking towards the product or brand. Remember that readers will look at the left hand side of a booklet’s double page spread first.


#5: Add finishes

Brands should also consider how to add finishing touches to their designs: e.g. varnishes, lamination, embossing and various other print finishing methods. Adding a simple gloss or sheen to a print design makes it stand out from the crowd and can give your current print designs a new lease of life.

If you’re interested in refreshing your print designs for 2015 and beyond, take a visit to the PMG print design studio and meet the team.

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