How To Design Your Own Print Marketing Materials

You may not be a designer by trade, but there is nothing to stop you from tapping into the methods that graphic designers use when it comes to designing your own promotional material. From roller banners to posters, flyers and more, here’s how to design hack your way to well-designed print collateral.

Create an idea library

Watch a DIY show on TV or surf the web for design ideas and you will come across a concept known as a mood board. This is a collection of clipping and ideas that designers want to use or incorporate at some time in an upcoming design.
In the case of promotion material such as roller banner, posters and so on, when you come across something that catches your eye, keep it for reference in your idea library. Take time to look at these ideas and work out what it is that you like (or don’t like) about them. Is there an aspect or two that you want to replicate?

Be consistent with design elements

There are some clever examples of this where by the font and color alone, customers can identify who the promotional material is by. There is no secret behind this: it’s about remaining consistent with logo and colors, and using them every single time. Decide on your logo, type face, graphics, and colors and carry them throughout everything you do.

Be the reader

All too often, when we design something we come at it from the wrong perspective. A design hack that graphic designers use across all media, both printed and online, is to put themselves in the shoes of the reader, the audience, the customer and so on.
Why do they care about what you have to offer?
What information would they be searching for?
Think of the questions the customer will ask and answer them.

Use white space effectively

White space is not necessarily white, but, rather, is a blank space. Not every inch of your banner stands have to be covered in print or graphics. White or blank space is your friend, and here’s why: the eye needs to be able to work out what it is looking at.
If there is a jumble of words, all mixed in with graphics and pictures, it is hard to determine shapes of words or determine where the important information is. The addition of white or blank space here and there, allows the eye to focus on certain areas of the banner, poster, and so on. This is true no matter what the medium or how big or small it is. Too much information overwhelms the eye.

With design, less is often more

The difference between a professionally designed promotional item and a DIY job is usually that a non-professional design is simply generally too busy and stuffed with all sorts of unnecessary elements. Within such a gathering, it can be hard for your customer to find the message.
Paring back your design creates a simple, clean, and organized layout ensuring that your item will be high impact.

Think logically

Here in Western world we read from left to right, whether it is a book, or a web page. The same is true of leaflets, posters, and banner stands. Be logical in how and where your place text, ensuring your visuals fall in line with the natural propensity to read from left to right.
People will also look up before they look down. Your logo or contact information should be placed towards the top of a banner or a poster. The eye line is the most important area of the item. It’s here that you should place your most important information. People will then carry on looking downward and so it makes sense that your call to action would be placed in this area.

Include a call to action

A call to action is telling your customer what they need to do next, in order to find out more, get a discount, or make a purchase. If a discount won’t last long, you need to tell them that. If it is really important that they order today, tell them that, too. And don’t be afraid to give instructions, ‘Buy It Now’ buttons really work. Giving people a reason to respond is important, but don’t clutter your promotional material with sales language from top to bottom, or it risks becoming a turn off.

Designing your own materials is possible – why not give it a try?



James Trotter

Marketing Assistant at Colour Graphics
James Trotter is a marketing assistant at Colour Graphics, which specializes in large format print and display materials.

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