There was once a time when having a brochure printed in color made it really stand out. Full-color printing (four-color) was expensive, and as a result, there was a lot of creative effort in producing attractive one-color and two-color brochure and poster designs in order to save money. These designs could be produced economically by the many local “offset” printers that once existed in small and large cities.

Now full-color is the “norm.” The process is far more affordable and online color printing services make it easy and affordable.

Just about every brochure you see in the brochure rack is going to be full-color. Full-color is the default, the “norm.” To stand out, consider additional options in design: high-contrast, white space, stunning photography, illustration, and creative layouts.

The internet offers many stock photo services at highly affordable prices. As a result, you may see the same stock photo used by different companies, in different media. The photo you saw in a dentist’s magazine ad, is also on a hair salon billboard. Seek out local photographers that you can work with and make an effort to use original photography in your designs whenever possible.

Social media is inundated with professional and do-it-yourself marketers, trying to create posts that visitors will click and share. As a result, the public is experiencing an overdose of the “come-on” headline. Try to avoid the over-used techniques (top-ten lists for example). Also avoid sounding like an ‘advertisement” or a “pitch.”

Instead, remember that social media is highly personal. What is it about your product or service that can help other people, and how can you present it in a personal, helpful way? Also, when publishing on social media, remember that you are like a miniature “media company.” Is there an organization or a cause that you can help by publicizing it in your posts. You will not be promoting yourself, but your posts will be noticed and you will be helping others. And perhaps you will be appreciated for that.

Pete Williams

Pete Williams is a co-owner of Current Creative Group, and Design Director for Moxie Magazine. He enjoys writing, designing, and playing music.