So the decision’s been made: you’re going BIG. Your business is ready to grow, you have the marketing strategy in place, and you’re just about ready to dive into the creative side of things. You can almost taste the new advertising campaign.
Before you huddle with your designer, there’s 5 tips I’d like to share with you. Keep these in mind as you put together your oversize graphics to share your business with the world.
As this example shows, a spelling mistake magnified in this way just makes people laugh at you. You can’t proof carefully enough when it comes to an item like a wall or floor decal. Yes, you can remove it and correct it. All of which will cost you time and money.
TIP: Proof, proof, then proof again. And resist the urge to proof such an item yourself. Get someone else to review….because chances are, you’ll just gloss over spelling or grammar mistakes after working on something for any length of time.
2) Designing a billboard or large outdoor sign
The key with this type of advertising is to work with your marketing team to develop a great marketing message/copy. As big as a billboard is, you don’t have room for wordiness or paragraphs.
Why the brevity? Because people are driving by and can’t (won’t) slow down to read a wordy ad in small type.
Use clear images that really make your point. Esoteric, fanciful images might look cool on a monitor or website. But they’re hard to decipher when people drive by at 80km/hr.
Consider this: if people can’t figure out what the message is or what the images actually are, have you really made good use of that advertising space?
TIP: Get to the point. Be clear. Be concise. Use clear, unambiguous images that support your message.
3) If you’re investing in tradeshow graphics
Make sure all your graphics are coordinated and look professional. This is the time you need to follow your brand guidelines. It’s not the time to “try something new” like a new colour palette, or a “special logo just for this show.”
It goes without saying that this is not the time for printing things at home. Remember: you’ll be there to make an impression and meet potential leads or clients. But so will your competition. Give your booth every chance by looking professional.
TIP: Professional design and print should be your only goal here.
Make sure your supplier and designer talk to each other. Your designer should have have access to the vehicle template that the signmakers will use. And he/she should also have a clear idea of what the vehicle looks like, where the door handles are, whether doors slide instead of open, etc. If your designer has this information, you can avoid mistakes like awkward photo placement, or signs over windows that will be rolled down often.
TIP: Make sure your team is able to collaborate and help one another. That way you won’t end up with key items placed in the wrong spot.
5) Give yourself TIME
These days we are all used to the fact that digital designs can be created and posted literally in minutes (Instagram photo anyone? Facebook post template?). I wish I could tell you the same is true for oversize graphics and signs, but it’s just not so. Please get ready for at least a few days’ wait.
First, you need to find a supplier to manufacture your items (ex. tradeshow booth, outdoor lit sign, store awning). So that’s some time for research. Then have to have the item designed. Then your supplier needs to manufacture it, which in some cases, may take a couple of weeks (like a store sign at a strip mall). And finally, the item needs to be installed. In some cases, like vehicle wraps, it can take an hour. In a case like a window display/treatment it can take a few days to apply all the decals.
TIP: adjust your schedule to give everyone enough time to complete all the tasks. This will allow you to manage your expectations realistically. Oversize graphics simply aren’t going to happen from one day to the next. And knowing this will help you create a realistic schedule and hopefully, keep your stress level low.
I hope these 5 tips will help you get ready as you get ready to upscale your advertising. If you’re taking this step, then you know you’re in a different stage of business and branding altogether. Don’t rush just to get to the finishing line; after all, you will be spending a significant amount of money on this project.