Welcome to the first of our Let’s Talk Design discussions. This insightful series intends to open up some dialogue around the importance of design when it comes to print marketing. From the way we use colour to the science of typography, there’s so much to think about. And that’s why we’re going to bring you a set of useful blogs to guide you through every project, big or small.

We’re kicking off with a very important topic, a question that should be at the birth of every great design idea: how to apply the WIIFM Factor to your design work, and how to create artwork with purpose. Here are the thoughts of the Banners and Mash team…

Let’s Get Started

They say that successful marketing starts with the WIIFM Factor. These five letters are the most important letters you will ever encounter if you’re a sales writer. As a principle, it’s often employed when writing creative copy, giving words the power of persuasion in a campaign. And tapping into this technique helps to channel your value proposition to the right audience. So it’s a very important part of your brand communication. But it’s not just your words that need to be persuasive. Your design needs to be able to speak to the customer too. It’s just a different kind of language…..one that can be extremely influential once you’ve mastered it fluently.

So how do we learn the lingo of design? How can we apply these learnings to our print materials? And how do we ensure that we’re sending out the most effective messages through our artwork? This is where the WIIFM Factor comes in…

The WIIFM Factor in Design

The WIIFM Factor is something that should be applied to every design project. More importantly, it should be applied at the brief (never at sign-off) and should be referenced throughout the production stage. So where to start? Firstly, establish who you are talking to and get to know your customer. What is their age / gender? What is their disposable income? Where do they live / where are they from? What are their pastimes? What are his / her desires? Once you have created a clear profile, you can then ask the all-important question: “What’s In It For Me?”

It’s all about putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and understanding their wants and needs. For instance, if your customer is a young female looking for the latest trends in fashion, empower them with bold colours and inspiring artwork. Fashion brands don’t just use colours in their product lines; they also exploit colour psychology in their adverts and shop graphics. And together with the right wording and the right photography, they can inspire shoppers to feel a certain way or buy into a certain range. If your customer is someone with a large disposable income and a discerning taste for fine foods, win them over with sophisticated packaging and refined typography. The luxury food market often takes an understated approach to design, using simple colours, elegant wording, and clear logo placement to establish a high-end look and feel. And the same concept goes for their signs, banners, shop posters or adverts. Because beautiful, effective graphics can really help a luxury brand tell its story successfully.

These are just a couple of examples of how the WIIFM Factor can help you create a fool-proof design brief. And once you’ve nailed the ground rules, you can decide on the practises you want to use. The power of colour, fonts, shapes and imagery is amplified when applied together; and will help you convey your message in the same way that words do. But in order to translate into leads or sales, marketing stories have to have an end goal. A drive. And this leads us to the importance of designing with purpose…

Designing with Purpose

It’s all well and good getting to know your customer and trying to understand what they want. But what do you want as the brand? What do you want in return when your audience receives you? What action do you want the customer to take once you have captured their attention? The thing you need to think about is the purpose of your campaign. What is this sign / banner / flag / POS / window graphic trying to achieve? A new lead? An instant sale? Getting customer information such as contact details? Or is it a branding exercise to get your offering engrained into people’s minds? Whatever your answer, it should determine how you approach your work going forward.

For example, the colour red with the use of bold fonts can inspire a sense of urgency for getting quick sales. This is consumer psychology in its simplest form, and a call to action that makes people act fast. Or if you want to spread awareness about a particular product or even a cause, design can play a big part with emotive photography and clean, easy to read typography. Using emotionally driven imagery will help people remember your brand / organisation, whilst friendly and simple fonts help to make your story accessible.

So the biggest advice from us is to avoid the act of designing aimlessly. Design with a purpose – it’s the only way to have a focused approach. Which means that providing a detailed brief for designers and art workers is essential. Along the way, every change and every edit should be reviewed carefully, and asking yourself “What’s In It For Me?” at every stage of the design process is extremely important. Remember your purpose and remember your customer…..follow this golden rule and we promise that your design cannot fail.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list via the box below for more posts in our Let’s Talk Design series. Our next discussion will be ‘Suggestive Colour & Colour Psychology’.

To find out how we can help you with design, please get in touch

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