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Despite the technological advances that we have made in recent years, print materials still remains a vital tool for many businesses, so understanding what can be achieved with the right print and design choices can be very important. Working with a professional print and design service is the best way to ensure that your print projects are benefiting from the skills and experience of people who can help you to achieve the right effect, but it helps to have a clear idea of what you want your print designs to do.

What Should Your Print Material Do?

The first thing that you want your print materials to do is to catch the attention of your target audience. This can be achieved through eye-catching use of colour or large headlines, or by creating an interesting design or logo that will make people look at your design. Some print material will not need to go beyond this step. Print designs such as letterheads or business cards simply need to catch people’s attention, reflect the right image for your brand, and sometimes provide some basic information such as your contact details.

Other print materials need to go further. Once you have caught your audience’s initial interest, you often need to cultivate it by offering more content to keep your audience looking or reading until you have told them your message. Good design can help you to catch someone’s eye and to draw them into your material, but coming up with the right content, presented in an intriguing manner, is essential if you want your print material to have the right effect.

The message that you convey through your print materials should be clear, simple and memorable. You might want to make them more aware of your business, convince them of the uniqueness and benefits of your products, or persuade them to take up a special offer. Whatever your main goal is, it should conclude with a call to action that will make your audience want to use your voucher, attend your event, or make a purchase. Your audience should finish reading your material knowing exactly what the next step is, and hopefully having the desire to take it.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Any print design that you use should play into your larger branding and marketing objectives. It should reflect the image and values that you want to be associated with your brand, and it should help you to achieve the goals that have been set out in your business plan. The objectives for a particular design will never be able to accomplish all of these goals, but each piece of print material should fulfil a smaller objective that is part of this overall plan. For example, your overall goal might be to expand sales by 20%. You might then want to design a banner for an exhibition stand that will introduce your brand to new customers, or to create a leaflet offering a discount to convince your existing customers to buy more.

As well as knowing what you want to achieve, you need to understand your target audience so that you can create designs that will appeal to them. Your print material should focus on the benefits to them, rather than simply listing products and features. It should convince them that you understand their needs by explaining how your products solve particular problems they are experiencing. It can also convince them of your expertise and understanding by showing that you have the answers for their questions. Make sure your designs are focused on what your customers want: benefits, solutions and answers.
When you know your goals and audience, you can create a design that will achieve what it sets out to do. You will still need to think about how design elements such as colour and typography can help you to create the right impression, but it will be much easier to make the right choices when you are clear on your goals and thinking like your audience.