Know your intended market or demographic
Before your concept even begins it’s helpful to know who you want to capture the attention of. So you start by asking a few simple questions like:
How old is my audience?
Unless you plan on education elementary kids on some sort of war, it may not be the best to make a design based on WW2 ads, for kids. Instead it may be smarted to find a cartoon with relatable characters to excite the kids. But this is just an example.
It illustrates the importance of a pre-plan for the age group of the audience you’re trying to attract. Really it’s about finding relatable material for the target generation.
Sometimes gender matters.
It can also be just as important to know what gender you would like to market to. When you pre-plan a project, say for a wedding expo, it would help to make a flyer targeted to women. Even though the groom will attend, the bride is more likely to make the plans to go. So if you design a flyer for the bride you’re likely to receive a better turnout.
But it’s a group event!
Sometimes your event is a little bigger than gender. Maybe it even covers multiple ages. That’s ok too; As long as you keep your target in mind you can design for it. That means using relatable material to a wider range of people and even a range of ages.
Pre-plan your method of dispersal
Once you know who you are making your material for you start to look at where that group of people can be reached. That can include local hangouts, social networking sites or social gatherings. Every group or demographic has some sort of gathering or place they communicate.
How do I reach them?
If you know where they can be reached, you can easily determine what the best way to reach them. Say you want to target people who are health conscious. It would be a fair guess that a flyer in the local smoothie shop will grab some attention
The same can be said if you want to sell flowers on your website, online marketing might be the way to go.
Know your size…
With a little bit of forethought you can come up with a good Idea of what your design is going to be. The next step is crucial, so if your takeaway is nothing else let it be the following!
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!
If you want a promotional piece as a quarter page hand out, a full page flier and an oversized poster, you need to design each one separately. That means more time and work but it will ultimately mean a higher quality product.
Not to mention proportion. If you have a quarter page document with the ability to scale up to any size it will still fit funny on any other size paper. So you will have to cut paper down to size. By doing this you loose real estate and bang for your buck. All that is assuming you have the resolution to play with. So please plan on making a version for each size you need.
The last part to think of before you start designing is resolution. It’s a value that can vary greatly. The reason for knowing where your material will be distributed deals a lot with resolution. If you’re making a facebook ad you will be using a resolution of 72dpi. Opposite of that if you are going to print you will need a MINIMUM of 300dpi.
Print resolution can go all the way up to 6000dpi on top end machines. Now most of the time you won’t be able to print on anything with more than 400dpi. But this is an important piece to know. If you need to know more about resolution read our article here.
In conclusion, a little forethought will take you a long way. A pre-plan can save you a lot of time, effort and money. And just keep in mind one size does not fit all.