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  • What size brochure should I go for?

    What size brochure should I go for?

    Brochures are a fantastic way to promote your business and reach out to new customers.

    A good brochure can differentiate you from competitors as well as give your clients confidence in your business’s abilities and remind them of your products and services.

    In short, a good brochure leads to business and therefore it is vital to get it right.

    Paper Size

    Firstly, when deciding on a paper size for your brochure it is important to decide beforehand how much content you would like to include. A cluttered brochure is unappealing to read and much less effective.

    If you have a lot of content, choose a bigger size so that it is presented in the best possible way. Alternatively, you can have a brochure with additional pages.

    If you don’t have a massive volume of content, you can be more flexible.

    Secondly, you need to think about what the brochure will be used for. Will it need to fit into a presentation folder? Will it go through a letterbox? Will it be renewed regularly or will the consumer keep hold of it for a while?

    The most popular brochure sizes are A4 and A5. Why?

    An A4 brochure is cost-effective in terms of printing, and the preferred choice if you need to include a lot of content.

    An A5 brochure is a more compact brochure size for those who need less content, yet still gives way for a bit of creativity. This size brochure is also the cheapest option to send via the post.

    Both are easy to carry around, fit through letterboxes and slot into literature racks.

    However, staying safe has its disadvantages. Being the most popular brochure sizes means that A4 and A5 brochures will not stand out from the crowd.

    Is it important for your brand to stand out?

    If cost and efficiency is critical to your business, why not create landscape A4 or A5 brochures to be more distinctive among the standardized portrait brochures.

    At Crush we have a soft spot for square brochures. A square brochure is a striking way of making a brochure look more premium and original, without a hefty price tag. Square brochures are letterbox friendly and don’t break the bank in terms of postage costs.

    Alternatively, for those who are willing to be a bit more flexible in terms of budget, bespoke brochure sizes are the best way to show off your brand. Bespoke brochures allow for maximum creativity, to completely compliment your products and services.

    Brochure folds

    After choosing a brochure size, the challenge is far from over.  The next step is choosing the right brochure fold. This step needs considering at the design stage. Some examples are here below:

    The right type of paper

    Paper choice can have as much impact on the final product as the design.

    There are two main things to consider; the paper density and the finish.

    Paper density refers to the thickness and firmness of the paper. It is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). A typical corporate brochure would be between 170-300 GSM.

    Think of a firm brochure as the equivalent of a firm handshake. It reflects assurance and professionalism. Whatever you are selling, every business should want to be seen this way.

    The right print finish

    A print coating is the finishing touch to a brochure. A matte or glossy varnish allows a brochure to be more expensive looking. You can also add lamination for extra protection and a smoother finish.

    Once again, the key question is “what is the use of your brochure?”.

    One of our clients, an industrial paint company, opted for fully laminated brochures because they recognised that their clients kept their brochures for years, and therefore they needed to be durable. They also needed to survive the wear and tear of an industrial environment.

    However, if your brochure is for a one-off promotion it might not need such a finish.

    For more premium brochures, other finishes can add a touch of class such as UV varnish, foil stamping, embossing, letter press etc.

    If you are interested in finding out more, or thinking of getting new brochures for your business, give us a call on 012460 563357.

  • How much should a logo cost?

    How much should a logo cost?

    The price design agencies charge for a logo can range from £50 to £50,000. That is a huge price range, so what is going on?

    Did the cheaper logo take one hour to create and the more expensive logo a thousand hours. I doubt that very much. The time taken to draw even the most complex of logos amounts to tens of hours, certainly not thousands.

    There are two key factors that determine the cost of a logo: The cost of getting it wrong and Is it really just a logo?

    The cost of getting it wrong

    If you are a global sports brand and you find you have to recall a newly launched logo it would be catastrophically expensive.

    • The embarrassment and bad PR of making a mistake
    • The loss of customer engagement, because who wants to be associated with an epic fail
    • The cost of recalling all products with the new logo
    • The cost of changing every instance of the new logo (vehicles, website, billboard, office signage, etc)

    All this could run into millions, so perhaps the £50k spent on finding the very best people and have them fully stress test the logo seems like money well spent, despite it only taking the designer an hour to draw the final logo.

    So when you are considering the price of your logo, work out how important it is to get right and spend accordingly.

    For a list of common logo mistakes, see below.

    Is it really just a logo?

    A logo is often just a simplified drawing with little meaning or value on its own. It needs to be part of a ‘Corporate Identity’ which is then part of the company’s ‘Brand’.

    It is important to differentiate ‘brand’ from ‘corporate identity’ as too many people use the former term when they actually mean the latter.

    This is important because when a client says they need a logo the chances are they actually need a corporate identity; one that includes a logo, but also shows the corporate fonts and colours, plus designs for letter-headed paper, business cards, email signature, social media favicon and so on.

    Clearly the more you need from a corporate identity the greater the cost should and will be.

    Then we come to the question  of brand. To use the analogy of a car;

    • A corporate identity is the wheels, the chassis, the aerodynamics
    • The brand is the pleasure you get from owning and driving the car

    So yes, brand is the corporate identity, but it is also the experience of dealing with the company in question.  As well as making fantastic cars, Ferrari work tirelessly to make the entire experience of buying, driving and owning one of their cars equally amazing, and we believe our clients should plan the same for their businesses.

    Making every client interaction spot on and consistent.

    Common Logo Mistakes

    • Logos that don’t scale
    • Overly complex logo
    • Logos that date quickly
    • Logos that are a difficult shape
    • Logos with colours that are hard to replicate in print
    • Logos with colours that don’t work digitally (metallic colours)
    • Symbols that accidentally look phallic
    • Symbols that translate badly abroad
    • Logos that are too similar to someone elses
    • Logos designed before urls are found
    • Technically poor logo files

    Some examples for fun

     logo-design

     

     

  • Marketing Automation – surely the next big thing for SMEs

    The trends in technology for SME marketing are not that difficult to spot as they invariably come from the investment and innovation of larger organisations.

    Think of it as ‘what Formula 1 invents today, comes as standard on the family hatchback five years later’.

    For the past few years the big businesses have been developing  marketing automation and recently I laid eyes on a SME friendly version.

    Describing what ‘marketing automation’ is can be a tricky. Think of it as a friendly programme that sends out the emails and text messages that you know you should send to potential customers but often fail to. You can build intuition in to these system and integrate with other business software, for example it could trigger a call notice in your sales team CRM based on a client’s behaviour, maybe after they opened an offer email and/or visited the website.

    The system features for marketing automation continue, as you can link analytics to your campaigns, call centres and PPC activity (both Adwords and your landing pages).

    The service is ideal for those already using MailChimp (or similar) but that want to take the next evolutionary step up to something that have more functionality…, more clever stuff. MailChimp have already taken a small step in the Automation direction but they remain an email platform first and foremost.

    If you are interested in learning more about what marketing automation can do for your business then please give Crush Design a call and ask for Jonathan.

    Otherwise, start research the services yourself, and here are some of the marketing automation service out there that we have looked at:

    • Force 24 – these are the guys that recently gave me a demonstration. They are UK based, have a support team available to do site visits and had an excellent piece of software.
    • HubSpot – gave me an online demonstration but felt it was too complex / grand a platform for Crush and / or our clients.
    • Marketo
    • SharpSpring
  • Over half of UK charities are not satisfied with their digital strategy

    Over half of UK charities are not satisfied with their digital strategy

    The Charity Digital Skills Report recently highlighted that half of UK charities are not satisfied with their digital presence.

    Why so?

    500 charity professionals were questioned about their digital approach; 52% explained they have not gone through digital transformation because of lack of funding. A further 57% of charities said they haven’t put in place a good digital strategy because they haven’t got the right skills.

    However 75% of UK charities think that a digital transformation could really benefit their funding.

    Here at Crush we can provide you with the skills, help you with every aspect of your digital strategy, and let you see the Returns on Investment.

    We have been working with Ashgate Hospice for the last year. We completely transformed their web presence by creating a modern and user-friendly website- and are continuing to collaborate with them. We are currently helping them promote their local lottery and their latest events online.

    Their new digital presence has had a very positive effect on their fundraising. The latest figures show that donations have grown overtime, doubling compared to last year. They also have seen significant improvement in the amount of sign-ups to their latest event- the Sparkle run.

    If you think your charity could do with a digital revamp give us a call.

  • 84% of companies have outdated digital platforms

    84% of companies have outdated digital platforms

    Digital marketing is increasingly becoming a priority in our society.

    Consumers are demanding a digital experience, but companies are struggling to meet their demands.

    A recent survey by PointSource highlights this concern that companies are struggling to keep up to date with new times and do not have the systems in place to take advantage of the latest digital marketing trends. The survey suggests that 84% of organisational leaders claim they have outdated digital platforms, limiting their companies’ ability to deliver the needed digital experience to their customers. That is pretty shocking!

    The same study also shows that 48% of leaders were not confident that they were getting the right effect via their digital platforms or interacting with the right audience.

    It seems that the base of the problem is that companies’ digital platforms are not up-to-date with the new era, this leads to business leaders lacking confidence in the digital customer experience they can deliver but yet the same leaders are powerless to act because they simply do not know how to make the most of it.

    The big question is, who can help?

    Digital transformation (shifting traditional businesses to be digital first businesses) is a very complex discipline and often takes more than one expert; database architect, insight analyst, marketing automation, CRM specialist, CMS developers, front end developers, digital designers, UX designer (user experience), content marketers, search specialist and a business analyst.

    Not a problem if you are a multinational business with deep pockets, but who can the remaining medium to small sized businesses turn to?

    At Crush Design we offer 8 of the 11 disciplines listed above for digital transformation and already work with clients to better develop the customer journey they offer to improve conversion rates and take advantage of the efficiencies that digital platforms clearly offer.

    That does make a full service agency like Crush Design a good place to start.

    Just give us a quick call to ask us about it: 01246 563357. Ask for Jonathan.

    Or contact us online.

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