Why print design promotion matters now (more than ever)

I’ve recently been thinking about the continuing relevance of print in our increasingly ‘I’ll just email it over’ world. Attach and send, sure, but will anyone bother to read it?

There’s no doubt in my mind that contemplating a book, catalogue or brochure leads to a calmer, more reasoned response in almost every situation, not least because of the time and consideration usually given to the printed word. We’re told not to look at our phones before bedtime (good luck with that) but it can’t be denied the internal calm that reading at the end of the day brings. In work as in the rest of life, the same principle applies.

Ignoring print is a massive missed opportunity among marketing teams who need to reach a smaller, specific audience. Think of how we’ve got used to having everything delivered and the buzz of that moment. A timely and carefully prepared piece of print design promotion could capture the attention in the same way.

Three of our clients agree. This article focusses on how they did it – and why.

AlgoMe Consulting roll up their sleeves

In April 2020, with the world closing down, AlgoMe Consulting decided they had something to say. More than that, they had a lot to contribute. With a deep specialism in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), they started a series of thoughtful blog posts and engaging podcasts on the topic.

It’s become clear to me that a specific and upfront positioning of city firms’ ESG policies and how it influences their work has become a prevailing trend of all financial services branding and web design. There’s such a specific and undeniable movement in this direction. I’d go so far as to say that every financial services client that has approached us in the last year has put that at the forefront of their brief. It’s got to the stage now where when it’s not mentioned I react with curiosity as to why.

Cut to last winter and the ESG written pieces that AlgoMe had spent the bulk of the pandemic working on had formed something of a bulwark of thought. Two things struck the team. Firstly, many of the pieces had enduring merit, not something you can say about every blog. Secondly, that much their core audience may have missed the pieces and were unlikely to be trawling back through to find what they’d written.

So we pulled the best of these pieces into a single reader, entitled AlgoMe IQ, and this is the result. The layout echoes their overall brand look and extends it, giving space and readability, delivering a truly elegant piece of design and a ‘very 2021’ take on print design promotion.

AlgoMe Consulting's article compendium – a fascinating new take on print design promotion

48 London get sleek

Our longtime lifestyle management client 48 London always sees things from the opposite angle to everyone else. Perhaps it’s because the team have to solve so many interesting client requests, they assume that every problem deserves at least three answers.

So it proved when they asked us to work on a brochure with a difference. In a way the document we worked on for them doesn’t ever sell as conventional print design promotion exactly. A better way of putting it is that it begins an intriguing conversation.

We began work for Sophie and Hope at 48 London a few years ago working on their website which has evolved gradually as the business has grown. In an interesting turn of events, the work we did on their brochure ended up profoundly influencing the site, meaning it ended up reflecting the print design, rather than the other (usual) way around. We ended up changing the site’s structure, writing and overall look based on our creative work on the brochure project, subverting any usual expectation.

Which I think only goes to prove my point about finding answers by coming at them from a completely different direction.

48 London's brochure talks lifestyle rather than going hard sell

MovePlan makes an impact

The MovePlan project holds a special resonance for me because it covers so many aspects of our work in one deeply satisfying enduring piece of work. Now, to join the work we’ve done on brand and web, here’s a rather smart piece of print.

Not every brochure has to be a standard size. As it happens we conceptualised this brochure as two different formats, considering both a DL, envelope-sized document based on a piece of direct mail we’d seen by Waitrose for their regular customers, and a B5 format, which ended up being chosen. I rather liked both options and wondered if the same brochure could be prepared in two formats then sent dependent on which was most suitable for that audience. Anyway, the finished piece ended up being elegant, idiosyncratic and effective, which funnily enough encapsulates MovePlan’s view of the world in a nutshell.

Pre-pandemic, we worked on a series of four photoshoots for MovePlan, building a huge image library of custom brand photography for the business. These were created with a very specific art direction so all the images hung together beautifully as a set. Essentially this delivered a highly distinctive look for the company which has been used extensively online and in their marketing materials. Now it was the turn of some print design promotion, setting out their services and company ethos in this crisp, airy brochure.

Interestingly, the ‘spreads’ format proved particularly popular, a great example of how designing for print can translate well on screen too. The finished layouts ended up being used as a piece of landscape-format digital promotion with very little adjustment.

MovePlan's brochure – a service led and highly effective piece of print design promotion

My conclusion?
Stylish print design promotion speaks volumes

I spoke earlier about the idea that a piece of print could communicate in an incredibly effective way because rather than in spite of few meetings taking place in person.

For instance having a Zoom meeting then following up with a letter and photo-led brochure is a fascinating combination of modern business practices and old manners. With many people still working from home, sending prospective clients a beautiful print piece might end up not merely on a desk, but a coffee table. Even better, with today’s high quality digital printers, small volumes with exceptional print finishes are achievable in a way they weren’t even a few years ago.

Bonus for the Return On Investment crowd? One client win pays for the entire project.

If you’re pondering a new approach to using traditional print media, why not get in touch to discuss a wide range of different approaches? Creative new applications of your message and content across print design promotion genuinely works. We can work on designs from the simple to the sensational, depending on your brief and budget.

Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email direct.