What to know the difference between a professional leaflet designer and an amateur? The chances are, if you spot some of the design faux-pas below, you’re dealing with the latter.
If you’re designing your own leaflets to cut costs, then these are the errors you need to avoid in order to eliminate the risk of people not taking your business seriously.
Mistake One: Using too many fonts or fonts that don’t match
Lots of design beginners fall foul of this one and it’s a sure-fire way to turn people off your business.
A quality design usually has no more than two to three fonts: one for body text and one for paragraphs. Jazzy fonts are usually reserved for titles and headings and the body text is a cleaner, less distracting font that is easy to read. Make sure your fonts pair well. You can search professional font pairings with these two tools:
Mistake Two: Being inconsistent with fonts
Now that you’ve got your two-three fonts, keep to them and don’t be tempted to deviate from them. Headings and subheadings should be the same font-size throughout your leaflet. They should also be the same colour. Decide whether you want them with or without a background and stick to that. A lot of graphic design is about consistency.
Mistake Three: Using off-brand colours
Following on from inconsistent fonts is inconsistent colours. Your marketing materials need to match your logo and brand colours. Sometimes people end up creating leaflet designs that have very little in common with their actual branding. The way to avoid this is to create a document for your brand colours with the exact hex codes and RGB values so that when you open up your design software, you can refer to your document to ensure you’re using your brand colourways at all times.
- To find a colour scheme that matches your logo, try Adobe Colour for suggestions
Mistake Four: Adding too many elements
People who have no design training can be forgiven for believing that “more is more”. You would have a good reason to think this: paper costs money and if it’s a question of paying for more pages or packing everything into two sides of A4, then it makes economic sense to add more information, surely?
However, adding too many elements can make your design look cluttered. Stick to the essential information, break the text up with images and leave sufficient margins and “negative space” to allow everything on the page to breathe.
If you’re finding it difficult to see what’s wrong with your cluttered design, step back and think about the kinds of designs you do like. You may not be an expert in graphic design, but you’re an expert in what you like. You can see another person’s design and know what feels right, so you have to apply these same eyes to your designs.
If in doubt, remember the quote from Little Prince author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Mistake 5: Not using a grid system to balance your elements
A lot of initial designs can be haphazard, and even if you’ve tried your best to be deliberate about how you place text, images and negative space, something may still not look quite right.
Grids can help. If you imagine an invisible grid holding up all your elements, you will start to organise the information in a way that is more pleasant to the eye. Imagine different columns containing the individual paragraphs and photos.
This is something web designers know all about, as a lot of old school web design was achieved using HTML tables. Emails are still coded using this method.
An example would be, imagine your banner photo takes up the full-page width. That’s one column.
Underneath, the body breaks up into two columns, just like with newspapers (remember those things?) and below your text, you have three photos, so you line them up in one row spread across three columns. Below that three-column structure, you have some contact information tucked neatly into the centre column only, with two columns of negative space on either side. Are you getting it?
Get out a pen and a paper and try drawing a grid and slot in where you think the elements should go. Once you’re at your laptop, you can search for a grid overlay online to insert as a layer into your document so you can design over it and hide the grid at the end.
These are a few basic tips on designing your leaflet. Don’t run before you can walk – Get the basics right first and then you can go more experimental.
Do you want a more professional design without any of the headaches? We’ve got a team on hand to design your request so you don’t risk your business looking amateurish. Request a quote today.