Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video What is marketing collateral?, part of Foundations of Layout and Composition: Marketing Collateral.
Marketing collateral or as some call it, marketing materials, sounds like a complicated and technical term. But, it's really just a way we can talk about suite of items that a client or you might need. More descriptive terms might be letterhead, brochures, business cards, and a lot of other things that help communicate a message. But that's a little long. We live in a world filled with chaos and images fighting for our attention. Well designed marketing materials can cut through this and promote an idea.
A clear and direct idea, skillfully composed and produced, will always command attention over something confusing or unattractive. When I work on a suite of materials for a client, I want to create an overall look and feel. This will tie all the pieces together and communicate a sense of order and organization. It's tempting to design a letterhead in one style, a poster in another, and the promotional pieces in yet another. But this communicates disorganization, and perhaps even, multiple personality disorder.
On the other hand, making every item identical soon bores the audience, and, like telephone poles, we stop seeing them. Good marketing collateral walks that fine line between consistency and visual surprise. Marketing collateral is personal. Most of the items created are held in someone's hands or seen closely, like a poster. While a website, advertising, and broadcast graphics may be part of an overall campaign, in this instance, I'm going to focus on the physical items.
Each of the tangible items does a different job. A letterhead's job is to hold a personal message. The business card used to be similar to an old-fashioned calling card to identify you. Now, they serve as mini-billboards for us. Brochures are often a mix of information and promotion. Posters get our attention with a strong, simple communication. In addition, there are media kit folders and announcements, even items like promotional water bottles.
Even though this may sound like a lot to chew, it's manageable with a distinct look, clear message, and careful rollout plan. Once completed, the client will have a proprietary and unique brand that can stand out. Think about the last time you were handed a really amazing business card. You remember it. Because it made an impact. With strong and unique design.
- Deciding on the media for your message
- Defining your target audience
- Setting the budget
- Writing and placing copy
- Choosing paper and printing
- Formatting a brochure
- Designing letterhead, business cards, and envelopes
- Creating posters and media kits
- Designing specialty items like holiday cards