When we communicate, how we say things is often just as important as what we say. And any good salesman (or poker player) will tell you that we often tell people a lot without speaking at all. Learning to interpret and send nonverbal cues turns a good communicator into a great one.

The same is true with the design of printed materials. Advertisements are designed to seek out attention and generate interest. Catalogs and leave-behind sales materials highlight what you have to offer in an appealing way. When it comes to internal correspondence, your team members deserve an attractive message just as much as your customers. The bottom line is that style can be just as important as content.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you create your documents:

Use of Color. It’s well-known that colors have symbolic meanings. Blue symbolizes peace and tranquility. Green sends a very earthy message. Greys and browns indicate stability and strength. Color combinations (like red, white and blue, for example) can also be quite powerful. The important thing is that your color choices should compliment, and not contradict, your organization or your message. Red and yellow are great colors to promote a big sale, but probably not appropriate to use to advertise a bank or a law firm.

Composition. The rule of thirds is a popular composition rule that dates back to prehistory. In short, you start by imagining a 3×3 grid on your document surface, dividing the page into thirds horizontally and vertically. The intersecting points are where you should place your key focal points. This breaks up symmetry, and creates the illusion of action through use of negative space.

Graphics and Visual Aids. Charts are a popular way to present a large amount of information in a concise, easily understood format. Restaurants put boxes around their most profitable menu items to drive sales. And many images conjure up reflexive emotional responses: American Flags, hearts, smiley faces, etc. Linking your message with strong supporting imagery makes a powerful impression on readers.

Desktop publishing is as much a science as it is an art, but it doesn’t take long to learn the basics. And once you’ve created those high quality documents, it’s important to use the right hardware to produce them. At Capital Business Machines, we carry a large selection of multifunction printers and copy machines to meet your imaging needs.

The fun has only begun once you get your new equipment installed. We offer training, help-desk support, and onsite maintenance. Click here, or give us a call at (501) 375-1111, and let us know how we can help you create high quality print materials to establish your brand, and grow your business!