How To Generate Effective Commercial Graphic Design

I often see artwork for flyers, brochures, catalogs and such created by my clients that are amazingly creative but miss the mark when it comes to fulfilling the purpose of the material. The message gets lost in the creative. It is important to understand that commercial graphic design is not the same as creative graphic design. Good commercial graphic design is not just creative. It also communicates the business’s story, brand and ideas in a way that will engage the reader and develop their interest.

Business design must address goals and solve problems. Creativity is needed not only to produce something brilliant, but to incorporate the goals of the piece. While you may want to make your brochure, sign, or whatever, into an artistic masterpiece, realistically it must also tell your story and engage the reader. Use these tips to combine the aesthetic with the practical:

  • Creativity and message need to work together. The creative of the piece must visually grab attention while the copy clearly conveys your message, and together they engage your audience.
  • The content must be concise. Include only the essential information that will help get your point across. Use paragraphs, bullets, etc. to help convey your message instantly.
  • Make information easy to read. Don’t let the creative elements overpower your message. Don’t be afraid to use a prominent headline or sub-headlines.
  • Ensure that contact details and essential information are prominent. Make sure your brand and contact information are legible and easy to see.
  • Pictures are worth a thousand words. Use images to show your products or explain the content more succinctly. Make your piece approachable with informal photography of people, if appropriate.
  • Be creative with the layout. Maximize the use of print space with creative layouts that include shapes, columns or grids.
  • Use an aesthetic that talks to your audience. For business materials, aim for an aesthetic that is minimal, subtle and calm. Use brighter colors for events and special promotions.
  • Use color wisely. Understated designs can be transformed from bland to brilliant with a deft use of color. Color is key in defining the mood and personality of your piece and will play a significant role in enticing the reader to look at it.
  • Provide high-res files. To ensure that your material prints crisply and looks great, provide hi-res files. Print files must have a minimum of 300 dpi resolution to print sharp, high quality material. Vector files are best because they can be resized without any image distortion. If you are not familiar with vector art, call us to learn more.

Graphic design plays a significant role in converting sales, but it isn’t necessarily award-winning design that will garner interest. The graphic designers at Minuteman Press Newark are trained to incorporate the aesthetic together with content to focus on what you are trying to achieve.


About Holly Kaplansky

Ten years ago I became the owner of Minuteman Press Newark. I use my corporate experience to help businesses with their printing and promotional needs. Through my blog I'm able to share business advise that I have learned through the years during my career.
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