Part II: Content:
Words and Pictures

• Communication goals

• Finding creative solutions

• Visual elements

TRY IT: 10 minute Concept
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Information overload: How to get through?

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE. Simple is not boring. Novice designers often think they need to decorate, make it fancy, "spiff it up." Generally the opposite it true. The best way to attract and hold the attention of busy people is through clean, functional design. I've heard it said that "Simple pays the bills," meaning that simple solutions will always work better than more complicated ones.

  • Don't add to media clutter. Clear messages combined with strong graphics will break through the noise.

  • Follow Robin Williams' advice: don't make a dorky website!

Trends - should we follow them?

  • Design is trend-oriented, but you don't have to have the latest gimmick to achieve your goals. Instead, spend time on clarifying the message and developing a strong concept.

  • It's okay to be aware of current fads. However, the pages that stand out are the ones that don't follow the crowd.

Marketing in a nutshell

What is the message?

  • We have short attention spans. What's the single most important piece of information you want your audience to walk away with? Ask the people who know best, then listen.

  • A fabulous sale? Price points? New product? How the product enhances a lifestyle? Story offers important facts about...? etc...

What is the audience?

  • Your company's management team? 18-25 Skateboarding males? Retired investors? The GP (general public- whatever that is)? Your approach will vary widely.

  • Focusing on the audience and anticipating their needs, desires and tastes will always yield a better result.

What is the medium? The budget?

  • All media require different production processes and amounts of money to execute them. But each medium also differs in how messages are interpreted - especially in how much time the viewer typically will spend, which in turn affects the depth of message you can expect to communicate.

  • The key is to develop a visual concept that works within the limitations, budget, and scope of the delivery media.

next: Finding creative solutions