When selling products and services, photos, illustrations and bold color palettes naturally bring any design to life. Visual branding provokes much emotion. These promotional moments are in some sense easier. And your readers are feeling all kinds of things (whether they know it or not).
But what about corporation communications broadly? What about your deliverables that are pure content, pure words—white papers, quarterly reporting, research articles, certain PowerPoints—that often rely less on imagery, and more on typography and other types of content organization for maximum effect? In these cases (annual reports are the exception), the document type will often drive your top-level design decisions.
Some of your readers will be happy to hack through dense copy. Some will skim. Some will browse. You can make them happy in different ways. Use typography, varied fonts, and bold headlines to call out key concepts. Or use graphics to snapshot a big idea. Or take that section on “investment process” and make it visual with a process diagram so readers can “see” it.
In a word, these types of documents require thoughtful content organization for different levels of readers. It’s not so much, say, about color in this context. But quotes and body text can take on a design “style” that brings the document to life.
Design the language
Designing words? Really? Yes. The challenge is making a content-driven piece graphically exciting, appealing, and legible, without relying on the intensity of photography, color, or illustrations. We’ve all seen the word-heavy PowerPoint (often abused as a business tool) that asks the human brain to absorb wall-to-wall text. A fix here is simple with not only fewer words, but more typographic flourishes and graphics that balance the visual hierarchy page for page, and hit the eye better. The results can be transformative.
Handsome design strategies pay
Remember: in our info-overloaded age, every extra word is like 100 extra words. So being mindful of presentation and a strong graphic intention can help you deliver the message to great fanfare.