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DESIGN MATTERS // BROCHURES 01
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PLANNING DESIGN BASICS BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS PRACTICAL MATTERS
Is a Brochure the Right Solution?
The design team took the time to understand the company’s goals before
they jumped into producing a brochure. What was Outfi t Media Group trying to
achieve? How is it different from the competition? It quickly became clear that
a one-sheet—a simple brochure commonly used in this industry—wasn’t going
to grab attention. Designers also learned a key selling point for Outfi t Media
Group: the relatively small company could handle projects from start to fi nish.
This insight led to the idea for the logo, a one-eyed octopus with many legs.
It represents a company with multiple capabilities (the legs) and a singular
creative identity (the eye). Designers also decided a brochure wasn't the best
way to promote Outfi t Media to potential clients. “These one sheets either get
thrown out or the best-case scenario is they get put into a fi le folder,” says
Christian Helms, a partner at The Decoder Ring. “We made it our goal to defy
the fi le folder and the trash can.
The client liked the idea of a poster that recipients could hang on the wall, but
designers decided to take things one step further and think of other ways this
piece could work around the offi ce. After a little brainstorming, they came up
with a host of functional items to feature on the back of the poster, ranging
from an air freshener and capabilities sheet to a DVD sleeve. These are things
people might actually tear out and use, giving more promotional mileage to
Outfi t Media.
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π
Though the client originally wanted a
brochure, The Decoder Ring worked with
them to uncover a better solution—this
18 x 24–inch (45.7 x 61–cm) poster. It
gave the Hollywood production company
more face time with potential clients and
turned into a conversation piece in many
offi ces. People passing through asked who
the Outfi t Media Group was and what they
did. The back features a host of items for
people to tear out and use, ranging from
an air freshener to a capabilities sheet.
Think your clients would never go for such an offbeat solution? Try Helms’ tips
for working collaboratively and championing big ideas:
Think past the physical object. “Work harder and don’t accept what
you’re told,” Helms says. “Don’t be a service bureau. If they say they
want a logo, ask them why they want a logo. Ask what the goal is.
Listen and ask questions. Start with your initial contact, then move on
to key decision-makers and even the secretary. “You never know where
that insight is going to come from,” Helms says. Rank and fi le employ-
ees often have a unique—and sometimes more realistic—perspective
compared to their superiors.
Explain your process. “We show examples of other projects and talk
about how they evolved,” Helms says. You can’t count on every client
to know what designers do, so make the extra effort to illustrate your
working methods and capabilities.
Work hard to build trust and strong relationships. “Come at these
projects from the standpoint of being an advocate and a partner—not an
authority,” Helms says. “You don’t ever want to talk down to your client.
Nor should you approach a client as an adversary.
40
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DESIGN MATTERS // BROCHURES 01
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