Do you think it’s hard to create new content for your website? You know, online ads, blogs, marketing materials, social media updates, etc. Well if you think THAT is difficult; try looking at it all through MY EYES - the eyes of a Creative Director. I really want to enjoy reading your website or learning from your newsletter, I really, really do….but I cannot. Why? Because my eyes are drawn to the design mistakes I see glaring at me. It keeps me up at night!

So in the interest of more sleep (which equals less grump), here are some tips for you to keep in mind so the next “Creative Sort” that is exposed to your material can lean back, take a deep breath and say “they get it!” (Oh, and your material will become much more effective to boot!).

Number 1: Dude, decide on what is important.

I know you have a lot to communicate, but it really helps your audience process (and maybe even, heaven forbid, want to engage) when you pick your top 3 things you want to share. You may have heard the old saying “Less is More” – Heed it.

Number 2: Stop with only stock photos

I have seen every top image result from google already today, and so have your clients. We can sense when your “ethnically ambiguous man in a suit” is not someone you have ever seen, much less done business with. You don’t’ have to have a professional camera, a decent smart phone will do. Your content (especially social media) is more interesting when it’s reality. And it’s unique to YOU and your business.

Number 3: Know what you sell.

I can not tell you the amount of commercials, marketing brochures, websites, etc. that are not CLEAR AND PRECISE about what they sell! If you can’t quickly and easily figure out what your product is (and this includes service and sales), then your audience won’t be able to either. If I walk up to you and ask what you are offering, you should be able to tell me in 8 seconds or less (the average attention span on the web in 2013!).

Number 4: Pick a Font. Stick with it.

You will notice I said A font. If you really are feeling fancy, pick ONE serif and ONE sans-serif (without the lines at the ends of the letters). Create all of your company communications in this font. Do not be lured into the trap of “more fonts equal more design”. It’s not true and makes you look like an amateur. You can vary the sizes of these fonts, but they should always be the same fonts.

Number 5: Don’t bury the lead.

Since the days of newsprint, this has been a solid one, but it’s worth repeating. Before you start putting together any new material, identify what it is you want your viewer to do and make it easy. Emphasize this with your design…don’t have a picture of a welder if you are a fence company…it confuses me if I am looking for fences and I will disengage. Have a focal point and make sure it relates to what you want to say!

So there you have it – 5 easy to remember tips in the interest of more sleep. If not for you, at least a few more "ZZZ's" for me and all my creative-sort brethren out there...and not while reading your stuff either! On behalf of your audiences everywhere - Thanks for improving the visual goodness for us all.

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