So, you’ve followed Sofia's advice from our last post, and have crafted the words that describe and distinguish your business. Now you want to get them out to the world. How do you execute a design that does justice to your message? Think of your message as a new piece of theater never before produced. How will you convey what the story is about and who the lead characters are?
Just like in the theater, not everyone gets to play Hamlet. One of the biggest mistakes communicators make is failing to distinguish the key message from among many secondary messages. Decide what your key messages are and put them out in front, center stage. Everyone can’t be on the stage at once. This wouldn’t work in a production, nor will it work in your piece of communication. The supporting cast members can support your key players in smaller roles, but they should never clutter the center stage or detract from it. You worked hard on that key message and it deserves not only its own space, but its rightful place in the spotlight.
Building the Set
Just like on stage, when larger sets are screened off to create more intimate spaces if the scene dictates, you must consider the size and complexity of your communication. Only 15 clowns will fit into a Volkswagen! If all the information you wish to convey doesn’t fit on the vehicle you have chosen, you will either need to opt for a larger vehicle or display less information. The Great Gatsby is too long for a calling card; Made in China fits on a label.
Setting the Scene
We react to shapes, colors, images and style long before we take in any words. So it’s critical to set the right tone. Imagery is critical, even if it's only designed text. With it, you direct your audience's focus. So be certain that whatever imagery you use supports the copy. Be sure it fits your underlying brand and does not distract from the message you want to convey. And, whenever possible, organize the text graphically (e.g., bullets, pull outs, headings, etc.). Copy design will serve to differentiate among the cast of characters and to communicate key and secondary messages in more direct and visual ways.
Standing Ovation vs Booing and Hissing
The fact is, you may only have a few seconds to capture your audience's attention. Your main point and the reason for your communication must engage them right away or you will lose them. You’ll want to achieve this by effective design that tells a story and visually leads your audience to your point and then by supporting that information with secondary elements that flesh out the story. At every step in the design process, you’ll want to ask these questions:
- Does the design live up to your expectations and objectives for your message?
- Is it clear to your audience?
- Will it grab and keep their attention?
- Will it cause them to act?
Answer "yes" to these four questions and you will ensure the success of your production.