Be Your Own Marketing Firm: 5 Quick Design Tips

By: Stephanie Burns

Now that you’ve nailed down your content for your dental office’s marketing material (see our blog post “Be Your Own Marketing Firm: 5 Quick Editing Tips”), here are some suggestions for making your advertising not only sound right but also look good.

Design Tips

1. Keep it consistent. Just as important as having a consistent voice in your content is having a consistent design. If you use cherry-red swooshes on your business cards, use cherry-red swooshes on your informational fliers. You can keep track of what colors and shapes you’ve used in the past in your company-specific style guide—that way, your company “blue” won’t grow darker and darker or fade lighter and lighter over the years of your company’s existence.

2. Center alignment is a thing of the past. You’ve all seen the fliers your kids bring home from elementary school that look more like a formal invitation for an 18th century ball than an announcement for the yearly carnival. It’s probably because these fliers are using center alignment, rather than something a little more contemporary, like right alignment. As a visual example, compare the following:

Johnson&Smith Dental Care

449 All Smiles Avenue

Pearly Whites, NY 86732

Johnson&Smith Dental Care

449 All Smiles Avenue

Pearly Whites, NY 86732

Unless you are purposely going for a very formal look to your materials, stay away from the center!

Image originating from allcanadianfitness.wordpress.com

3. Less is more. It can be easy to get excited when it comes to designing. You start with a smiley-faced star, then find the perfect clipart shot of a laughing child whose hair color is the same as the star, and then insert a zebra patterned background to emphasize the happy mood of your clipart and before you know it, your flier is so busy it looks like downtown Manhattan during rush-hour. While it’s good to have brainstorming sessions where you let your creative juices run wild, it’s just as important to make sure that your design message is simple and uncluttered.

4. Consider color carefully. Don’t let the colors you pick to represent your office be an after-thought, and take the time to consider how certain color combinations might evoke certain emotions in your patients. A red and black motif might make folks feel like they’re coming to visit Count Dracula, while purple and pink polka dots suggest Barbie’s dental playhouse. While color seems like a no-brainer, make sure that your color choices are deliberate and send a message consistent with your content.

5. Make your fonts match your message. Just like your color choices should match the message of your content, so should your font choices. Fonts that only appear in all caps are hard on the eyes if used for more than just short phrases. Very curly script fonts can be hard to read. Fonts with lots of additional embellishments can distract from your content if they are over-used. Pick a font that complements your message rather than overpowers it. Mixing one sans serif font with another sans serif font, or one serif font with another serif font, is also a no-no. Instead, pick one sans-serif font and one serif font that will represent your company to keep your design clean. Be sure to make a note of your font choices in your company-specific style guide!

 

This entry was posted in November 2012.