Design advice from ASI’s marketing team

Design advice from ASI’s marketing team

Gas Creative Group designers at work

There are many ways to get the word out about a about event for your club or organization and designing marketing materials is just one of them, but it can also be one of the most effective.

Walking around campus, you are sure to see posters, flyers, handbills and digital bulletin board designs. Clubs and organizations are in competition to catch students attention through all this marketing.

Student designers at Gas Creative Group, ASI’s marketing team, work to promote a lot of campus events through a variety of materials, including posters, flyers, handbills, posters and T-shirts.

They offer the following advice for creating a successful event flyer. Whether you are new to design or have been creating projects for a while, remember to keep these tips in mind when making a new creation:

1. Think about your message
Spend some time thinking about what you are trying to convey before even beginning the design. Is the design promoting a series of events? Effective designs use a call to action which direct the viewer to take immediate action. This can be done using phrases like “sign up now” or “register before May 31st.”

“Keep the idea simple or in its purest form. No one wants to read a poster with too much information.” Jesse Vargas, Gas Creative Group student designer

2. Include the 5 Ws.
So, what’s this thing all about.? You want someone reading your poster to not only become interested enough in the idea but also do something about. This is why Step 1. is so important. Once people are initially interested in your message, whether they’re drawn in by the design or tagline, be sure to include the who what, when, where and why. This is crucial, people! Who is behind this thing you’re putting on? What’s your event all about? When is it, as in the weekday, date and time? Where is it, exactly? Include an address, if needed. Most of all, why should the reader care? Make it enticing! Simply listing interesting features and including a good graphic makes a big difference.

Global Madness (Fall 2012)

Here is an example of a design that has an eye catching image along with organized information. Gas Creative Group designer Alex Mattingly made this design for the winter quarter Midnight Madness to be put on the digital bulletin boards in the Bronco Student Center.

3. Organize all the information
Some things in life are more important than others. The same goes for information on a design. That means you should organize your information accordingly. Organizing information helps guide the readers eye along a page and entice them to read it in the first place. For this reason, whatever you want people to see first should be most prominent. For events, the event name is generally the most important, but sometimes you would want to make something else the most prominent, such as the name of a guest speaker. Details such as a “For more information” line can go at the bottom.

4. Think about CRAPEs
I have all this information in order, but I don’t know how to make it look awesome. Eat some crapes. The yummy French goodies should help you relax, right? So, think  “CRAPE.” Yes, that’s right. Contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity and emphasis make up the acronym CRAPE, which can be a great way to help you remember these necessary principles of design. I adapted the list in The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams to include emphasis, which is a highly important principle in design. Play around with each of the principles until you get the design that best gets your point across, which brings us to the last point.

“Make sure posters are not too crowded! Less is more. Sometimes extra taglines are too much.” Jennifer Wong, Gas Creative Group student designer

5. Try out a variety of options
Try out a few draft designs that show a basic idea and keep refining it. If you find that your final draft looks pretty different than what you started with, then that’s okay. There’s no reason to take it as a bad thing. It’s good to try out various designs before choosing what works best for the message you are trying to convey.

One more thing: Please, please, always remember to proofread. Take this from a writer who not only proofreads online articles, but also design copy. It can be easy to overlook mistakes, especially when you have been working on a project for a long time, which is why it is such a good idea to have other people take a look at your work and check for accuracy. Use spell check, but also have someone else look over it because computer programs do not recognize all errors.

Good luck!

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