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D E S I G N MAT T E R S / /
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PLANNING
Brochures
•logos
•packaging
•portfolios
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D E S I G N MAT T E R S / /
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PLANNING
“COME AT THESE PROJECTS FROM THE
STANDPOINT OF BEING AN ADVOCATE AND
A PARTNER—NOT AN AUTHORITY. YOU DON’T
EVER WANT TO TALK DOWN TO YOUR CLIENT.
—CHRISTIAN HELMS, A PARTNER AT THE
DECODER RING
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e s i g n at t e r s p la n n i n g B r o ch u r e s
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IT’S TEMPTING TO HEAD STRAIGHT FOR
THE COMPUTER OR SKETCHBOOK WHEN A
BROCHURE PROJECT HITS YOUR RADAR SCREEN.
BUT JUMPING AHEAD TO THE PIECE’S LOOK AND
FEEL BEFORE YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THE
PROBLEM—AND HOW BEST TO SOLVE IT—ONLY
MAKES MORE WORK IN THE LONG RUN.
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e s i g n at t e r s p la n n i n g B r o ch u r e s
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Building a Foundation
“The visual part is fun,” says Thomas Hull, a principal at Rigsby Hull in Houston.
“You want to cut right to the chase quickly.” Taking the time to plan, however,
is one of the most crucial stages of any successful project. Without knowing
exactly what you’re trying to achieve, it’s nearly impossible to come up with an
appropriate solution. So, where do you start if it’s not at the keyboard? Ben
Graham, a principal at Turnstyle in Seattle, believes there are three things you
need to understand right away:
1. The client: do you know who the company really is and what challenges
it faces?
2. The target audience: whom does your client want to reach and what will
this group fi nd compelling?
3. The relationship between the two: what will be believable to the
audience?
These three knowledge points provide the foundation for working on any
project, and if you want to truly understand each one, you’ll need to spend
some quality time getting to know your client. When Tim Hartford, president of
Hartford Design in Chicago works with a new company, his team sits down with
the key players and goes through a list of important questions. They’ll ask about
the business, target audience, and competition. Most clients can provide fairly
detailed information about all three. Also, asking for samples of the company’s
existing materials offers further insight.
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e s i g n at t e r s p la n n i n g B r o ch u r e s
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π®
Understanding the audience is a key
part of planning any brochure. This piece, for
example, was created to communicate with
several groups: department-store buyers,
fashion experts, and internal Reebok staff.
“Overall, I think the feeling is somewhat soft
and feminine,” says Ben Graham, a principal
at Turnstyle. “But it’s not fl oral or dainty.”
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