Dash of Inspiration – September 19, 2011
A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen
Better Designs = More Approvals = More Sales
This past week I was doing some serious browsing through the huge collection of cards at GCU for both the purpose of making some favorites for personal purchases of my own coming up, and for new choices to promote on my many sites.
This browsing effort was a real eye-opener for me into what GCU is talking about with marketability. The hat I was wearing at the time was very much that of a consumer’s perspective and I was actually surprised by the HUGE amount of cards on the site that give an amateur impression because of the basic design principle flaws.
Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of fantastic cards, but I began to really understand where GCU is coming from when I saw hundreds of the following design mistakes on cards:
- Poor compositional layout of elements such as: a) Cards with un-even borders, b) Chaotic placement of elements, and c) Lack of balance.
- Excessive use of effects; including excessive beveling on elements, borders, photographs and text.
- Poor use of color such as; a) Bright colors surrounding an image where the background color does not coordinate/blend with the image or occasion, b) Color clashing when colors are used together do not present any visual appeal, and c) Chaotic color combinations which may be artistic, but have to direct correlation to the occasion or overall message on the card.
- Illegible text including; a) Excessive beveling, b) Shadow effects, c) Color and colored text on colored background, d) Angle and placement of text, and e) Font choice.
You may wonder why I consider this a topic for my Dash of Inspiration column – here’s why; I want to inspire you to learn how to avoid making these design mistakes and if any of your cards are sitting on the site as current victims of these tragic design errors, I want to inspire you to fix them.
I found some helpful and interesting links to guide you to a better understanding of basic design principles and though in some cases these articles may have been written for designing a website; good design, balance, legibility, color use and above all; Consumer Appeal and Marketability are the same, regardless of the product.
When designing your greeting cards identify WHO THE AUDIENCE IS! When creating cards where the recipient is likely to be a senior citizen, cater the design to them. Same is true if your recipient is likely to be a child. Don’t just use the same design, typography and verse if the category you are designing for has a non-generic audience.