Christmas marketing: 5 simple ways to thank your clients this year

Cover off your client ‘thank-yous’ and make the most of this glittering opportunity with our quick Christmas marketing ideas.

Somehow it’s that time of year. Again. Already! Slight issue: October through December is an extremely busy period for many businesses. When you’re in the thick of it, frantically trying to get everything done by Christmas, Christmas marketing for your own business can fall by the wayside. The path of least resistance can be to simply ‘do what we did last year’ or – gasp ­– ‘forget’ to extend Christmas wishes to your clients.  

Tempting as it may be to ignore the festive season when you’re buried under a mountain of work, Christmas marketing is actually a golden opportunity. It’s a chance to not only thank your valued clients for their ongoing support, but also to reinforce your company values and remind people why they do business with you.

Here are 5 simple ways to show you care at Christmas (that won’t take masses of time or break the bank)

1. Branded Christmas marketing EDM

A lovely email full of good cheer and gratitude is one of the simplest, most cost-effective tools in the Christmas marketing repertoire. Really, there’s no excuse for not doing this at a minimum.

Platforms like MailChimp make EDMs highly accessible, inexpensive and measurable (you can tell who opened your email!). The trick is to be festive with your design and meaningful with your wording. Make it fun because it’s a celebratory time of year and try to deliver the message in your company tone of voice instead of a generic ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’ (Zzzzzzzz).

If your office will be closed over Christmas, you can take this opportunity to give your clients a heads-up about dates.

One caveat to this suggestion is that a branded EDM alone won’t cut it for high-value clients. They deserve better, wouldn’t you agree?


2. Branded Christmas card

A natural progression from the branded EDM is a branded Christmas card sent by post. This option is a shade more personal and tangible than an EDM, and requires a little more effort on your part (but not a lot). We recommend you get one designed professionally and tailor it to your company’s culture and the industry you work in.

Depending on how many staff you have, you could ask everyone who works with that client to write a personal message and sign their name. The extra time it takes is well worth it.  

3. Seasonal special offers

Christmas marketing for retail and e-commerce businesses that don’t have personal interactions with clients is a little different from professional services.

These businesses with a large, somewhat faceless client base could consider creating a seasonal special offer or discount. This will have the dual benefit of making your clients feel valued and increasing sales and revenue.

So if you feel that 20% off is the best way to show customers you care, go for it!

4. Gifts to charity on behalf of your clients

There’s been a lot of talk lately about excessive consumption and how we all panic-buy throwaway items at Christmas that no one wants, much less needs. No way should your Christmas marketing efforts add to the world’s waste.

As we all know, Christmas is about being grateful for the year that’s passed, celebrating our achievements, being with loved ones and practising unabashed kindness.

Embrace the true spirit of Christmas by giving generously to a cause you believe in on behalf of your clients. Organisations such as Oxfam, The Smith Family and Unicef (just to name a few) offer wonderful Christmas gift giving options that can save lives.


5. Non-throwaway Christmas marketing merch

If your company is considering going down the branded merchandise path, invest in practical, non-perishable options that won’t be thrown away or consumed straightaway. Items like notepads, tote bags, umbrellas, calendars, re-usable coffee cups, speakers, chargers and candles have real staying power.

There’s still time to make the most of your Christmas marketing with strategy, design and copywriting assistance from Sketch Corp

Clever website design – how a catchy call to action inspires conversions

It’s a critical part of website design – the call to action. And getting it right can mean the difference between a conversion or not. Our creative team have come up with our definitive website call to action list in the hope of transforming your casual visitors into paying customers.

In marketing terms, the website call to action (CTA) is exactly what it sounds like. A statement that invites the viewer to act immediately. As a marketing and design agency, we know that converting people who are ‘just looking’ into people who make the call or follow through with checkout is the ultimate goal of website design.

Our experience shows that calls to action matter. A fantastic CTA is a blend of creativity, clear guidance and the all-important prompt. With so many messages coming at them online, website visitors have become immune to the same old shopworn ‘Buy now’, ‘Add to cart’, ‘Ready to get started’ style CTAs.

Coming up with fresh new ways to entice visitors to act can be difficult when you’re a busy business owner. If you find yourself drawing a blank, here are 30 CTA ideas to get you started.

  1. Let’s connect
  2. Why don’t we grab a coffee? My shout!
  3. Get going now
  4. I don’t want to wait – let’s do this
  5. I want to go for it
  6. Find what you need now
  7. Want more? It’s all here
  8. Ready to buy?
  9. Show me how
  10. Get a free update now
  11. Time to explore
  12. We’re ready
  13. Give us a try
  14. Get started
  15. Send me a free guide
  16. Try us out
  17. See what’s next
  18. Time to make a difference
  19. Ready to be inspired?
  20. I’d like a free trial
  21. Find out more
  22. More for you here
  23. Like what you see? Click here
  24. I’m interested in saving time & money
  25. Why not have a look?
  26. Get started for free
  27. Try [insert service name here] for free
  28. Start your trial
  29. Let’s go
  30. Can we help? Phone [your number]

Of course, selecting the right website call to action is all about context. The website design around it needs to highlight what the key message is and where the CTA button will take them. You can’t beat the expertise of website design specialists for that. But in some cases, a tweak to the website call to action is all that’s needed to convert those visitors to customers.

Want more from your website CTA or website design in general? Working with a marketing agency may be the answer.

Call us on 07 3369 6100 or send us an email [email protected]

Graphic Design: Why it’s key to successful marketing

It makes us scratch our heads, but the role of graphic design in marketing can get lost down the list of priorities. Sketch Corp.’s design studio is the engine room of our marketing agency, so we thought we’d explain why you need to pay close attention to your graphic design.
Graphic design – why it counts…

For some reason, graphic design can get caught up in the “marketing” banner. Often it gets less in the budget or it’s assigned to a junior who knows how to download some free design platform. But graphic design is far more than just images and text. As any great marketing agency knows, there’s an art to communicating a message in a visually appealing way.

Graphic design can make or break a campaign…

It’s a crowded marketplace. Customers are bombarded with images and messages everywhere they look, especially online. The graphic design of your campaign really can be what makes or breaks how successful your message is in cutting through all the noise.

There’s more to graphic design than meets the eye.

For starters, the way graphic design applies to print and digital is so different that it’s a whole other story (or blog)! It’s also made trickier because aesthetics are so subjective. The way each individual views graphic design is personal. But there are some basic principles that can be applied to help make it work.

Checklist for good graphic design:

balance, design, design principles

BALANCE – this gives a design structure and provides stability. It can be symmetrical, where details are evenly matched, but asymmetry can also work.

hierarchy, design, design principles

HIERARCHY – this provides direction and organises the information so it has a functional purpose and makes clear what the key message is.

contrast, design, design principles

CONTRAST – this helps highlight important information and makes a design visually interesting. Contrast is achieved using different colours, sizes, even fonts side by side.

repetition, design, design principles

REPETITION – repeating elements including typography and colours can help make a design more cohesive, visually appealing and easier to absorb for the viewer.

alignment, design, design principles

ALIGNMENT – centred, left, justified. There are plenty of ways to orientate the text or elements on a design, while grids or columns can also achieve consistency. But it is possible to “break the grid” and ignore alignment successfully. It all depends on the skill level of the designer.

The difference in having a marketing agency that sees the value in graphic design.

You could have the best Facebook advertising campaign or Google remarketing plan but if it doesn’t LOOK right, then people won’t click or call or buy. And inboxes are bursting so you have a very short window to grab the attention of your audience. You need great design that “pops” to get YOUR email opened.

And it doesn’t stop at digital. We’ve been seeing a surge in businesses requesting beautifully designed capability statements and corporate documents of late.

Think about it… what kind of image are you presenting if you’re not investing in your graphic design? Is tasking someone who’s unqualified to design your marketing material really showing your company in the best light? It doesn’t make sense to spend so much of your budget on business development staff or advertising and then fail to showcase your message or bring your campaign to life with the imagery and design that will make it stand out.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about whether the graphic design of your marketing material is up to scratch.

  • Is the key message clear?
  • Is there are a hierarchy and a structure to the design?
  • Is your product or service looking the best it’s ever looked in the marketing material?
  • Is it clear what you want your audience to DO once they absorb the information?

If you’re not sure, why not send it to a marketing agency and ask for their feedback!.

Ready to make your graphic design stand out or just after a second opinion? Working with a marketing agency may be the answer. Sketch Corp. works with many clients on a monthly basis, devoting a set number of hours per month to their graphic design, strategy, copywriting and social media marketing requirements.
Call us on 07 3369 6100 or send us an email [email protected]

The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing Lingo

Social media marketing is fast-paced and ever-changing. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to forget that some business owners may not have heard of ‘PPC’, ‘retargeting’, ‘DMs’ and ‘chat marketing’.

We got a reality check recently when someone’s mum asked them to ‘please explain’ about hashtags. First of all, good on you Mum for getting on board with social media! Secondly, it’s high time we explained what some of these social media marketing terms actually mean in 2018. Allow us to shed some light on this evolving lexicon and how these methods can help your business grow.

Quick reference guide
  1. @ = Legend has it the ‘at’ symbol was first used on social media in 2006 (thanks Twitter!) and has since been adopted by all platforms and social media marketing professionals. Email brought it back in a big way, but the @ symbol has actually been around for nearly 500 years. It was resurrected in 1971 as a way for computer programmers to communicate with each other.
  2. Article = Not to be confused with a blog post, an article is more of a balanced, journalistic piece of writing that doesn’t have to include keywords or personal opinion. Usually an article’s intended purpose is for publication in an external media source (as well as for dissemination on your own website), so it goes through an editing process. What blogs and articles have in common is that they can both help establish your business as a subject matter expert.
  3. Blog = A blog is an online journal that you update regularly. Some businesses blog for SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as credibility-establishing purposes. Google loves websites that are continually updated with relevant content (blog posts, new pages and articles). To that end, blog posts are dotted with specific keywords such as ‘social media marketing’.
  4. Chat = To you, this may refer to a nice talk around the watercooler but to us it means reaching audiences via direct messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Chat marketing has definitely come of age this year! Big companies such as Optus and some of the banks have been using it in their promotions.
     Social Media Marketing - Chat
  5. DM = This refers to ‘Direct Message’ (as in ‘DM me your details’). Nowadays most social media platforms have a DM function that allows people to send you a private message directly via your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  6. GIF = More than a photo, less than a video, a ‘Graphics Interchange Format’ (GIF for short) is an image file format that is animated by combining several frames into a single file. You would have seen them around on the internet making you smile, and now businesses are using them too as part of their social media marketing mix! GIFs move a little, but not a lot, and have no sound. Hilarious captions are usually included, such as: ‘When you did your own marketing instead of talking to Sketch Corp.’on a GIF of Homer Simpson saying ‘D’oh! while bashing away at a computer.

  7. Handle = In social media marketing, a ‘handle’ is another word for the username you use on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Ours is @sketch_corp­­ That’s why a social media marketing person may talk about ‘securing your handle’ when discussing the strategy for your business.
  8. Hashtag = A hashtag is a type of searchable label used in social media content that makes it easy for users to search for material on a topic. If you type in #marketing into Instagram, it will show you all posts where the author has used that hashtag, with the most popular posts appearing first. Our clients might use #smallbusiness, #accounting, #recruitin, #brisbaneaccountant, #telstrabusinessawards etc.
  9. Mention = A ‘mention’ is a digital shout-out from one user to another using their ‘handle’ (see above). A mention from the right person with a large following of the kinds of people you want to reach – someone credible with lots of influence –can have an incredible impact on a small business.
  10. Pin = A ‘pin’ is an image you share on the Pinterest platform. It can also be a verb as in ‘I’m pinning this image; it’s exactly what we want.’
  11. Post = Whenever you share anything on social media that appears in your main feed, that’s a ‘post’! This is a word that’s meaning has broadened in unexpected ways over the years.

    facebook post

  12. Retargeting = You can ‘retarget’ people that visit your website or socials. This means that your targeted ads will later appear in their social feeds or in websites they visit as they browse online. This can be an effective way to reach people who have already shown interest in your business.
  13. Story = Your Instagram and Facebook ‘Story’ is a feature (circles at the top of the screen) where you can post photos and videos that run for 24 hours only. Content that you upload to your Story won’t appear on your main feed, but can be used to great effect in social media marketing initiatives – especially when you want to promote a special offer or ‘behind the scenes’ video.
  14. Troll = A troll is a person who starts fights on the internet with deliberately inflammatory comments. This is where the phrase ‘being trolled’comes from. Businesses can be trolled while carrying out social media marketing. The key is to differentiate a troll from a simple customer complaint, which you should listen to and address. Complaining devolves into trolling when commenters are inappropriate, offensive, irrational and have a clear agenda/axe to grind.
Still baffled by marketing speak? Working with a marketing agency on a monthly basis may be the answer. Sketch Corp. works with many clients in this way, devoting a set number of hours per month to their graphic design, strategy, copywriting and social media marketing requirements.

Expand without damaging your brand – your brand agency can help

Many established SMEs feel confused about how to carry existing branding and aesthetics through to new divisions and products. A brand agency can help you handle this type of expansion seamlessly.

At Sketch Corp, we are regularly engaged to help successful SMEs make sense of their branding and revise their brand architecture to accommodate growth.

The scenario is usually this…

Historically, the business in question will have always used established branding to represent one type of product, service or positioning in the industry. Now that the company is planning to launch a new division or product, they have questions:

  • How do I use the same logo to represent new and different offerings?
  • Do I need to create an all-new aesthetic (i.e. logo design) for each new division offering?
  • Can I keep my original aesthetic structure and just change up the colours?

Usually when a brand agency is engaged, the client is confused because they have a plethora of branding elements (logo, brand pattern, key messages, colour palette, etc) however they’re not sure how they can be applied to new products and divisions.

If your business is confused about how to expand aesthetically, there’s every reason to be optimistic – not disheartened. Here’s how we advise our clients to approach the expansion process initially.

brand agency
Identify your ‘master brand’

A master brand is a specific overarching brand at the top of a branding hierarchy that serves as your business’s main anchoring point. All underlying divisions or products branch out from here. It’s important to identify your ‘master brand’, which clients sometimes refer to as ‘the parent company/brand’. Often this encompasses your original logo aesthetic.

The process of ‘master branding’ attempts to create a strong association between a company’s products and what the brand represents.

If, for instance, you have three brands and you’re not sure which one is the ‘master’, this is an issue. You either have three standalone companies or three separate divisions that need an overarching master brand to unite them.

A good way to identify your master is to think back to when your business started. What was the core brand then and what did it embody? What did you primarily sell or how did you serve your customers? If you know the answer, put this brand at the top. This is your master brand – a singular corporate trademark to link a variety of capabilities or products. A brand agency can assist you with this process.

The point of all this is for consumers to consistently associate everything you offer with the qualities of your flagship ‘master’ brand.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But the process is not always so straightforward.

Sort through your multiple ‘mini-brands’ (if you have them)

Here’s a fictional scenario that sometimes plays out in real life:

“I started a business in 2000 called ABC Business. In 2005, I launched a new division called ABC BUSINESS 2 and designed a new logo for it. I launched another new division in 2007 selling an entirely new product called ABC BUSINESS 3. I created a new division for this and a new logo for the product.  By 2010, ABC Business 3 was more profitable than ABC Business and ABC Business 2 combined.”

What do you do in that situation? How do you structure your branding architecture? It’s an interesting one and not as uncommon as you might think. At our brand agency, we’ve encountered similar cases more than once.


Important things to consider from a brand architecture point of view:
  • Is being associated with ABC Business or ABC Business 2 damaging or helping ABC Business 3? If it’s the former, consider making this brand separate from the master brand by giving it its own aesthetic and personality. This means that when it’s referenced in the marketplace, it wouldn’t be in conjunction with the master brand. It would stand alone.

  • If ABC Business 3 does benefit from being associated with its parent brand, it would instead become an important sub-brand.


Understand your sub-brand/s

In a company’s brand architecture, sub-brands work symbiotically with the parent brand – offering support as well as deriving benefit.

Each sub-brand embodies qualities that link it to the master brand, yet each has its own distinct identity with traits that reinforce the values of the master brand.

If they are to flourish and make your main brand proud, you must give your sub-brands care and attention. They form a vital part of your brand architecture.

Develop a ‘brand bible’ of correct usage and brief your staff

You’d be surprised at how many meetings our brand agency has attended where the business owner clearly explains the parent company and sub-brands while employees sitting around the table exclaim, “Oh really, I never knew that!” We also receive lots of phone calls from business owners or senior managers confessing that they don’t understand why certain sub-brands exist within their company.

From a branding point of view, it is vital that your staff promote your brand with a clear understanding of your business. If you’ve had to sit down with your team numerous times to explain how your business works, your brand story may be too convoluted and in need of refinement. A brand agency can clarify your core messages so the people who work for you can comprehend them and spread your message accurately.

When we work with clients, we always deliver a clear brand architecture document complete with visual elements, brand positioning and key messages. This maps the master brand and sub-brands/companies to provide a framework for how to successfully launch new products and services, and grow your business.

Ready to expand without damaging your brand? Sketch Corp. can guide you through the process. Call us on 0733696100 or send us an email to [email protected]

Graphic designers: the pros and cons of freelancing vs in-house vs agency

Maybe you’re already in the industry or maybe you’re just starting out, but there’s no doubt graphic designers are in demand for their skills. The career opportunities are endless. And there are different ways of working.

Perhaps you’ve thought about what it would be like working for a creative agency or striking out on your own as a freelancer or working in-house at a company.

We asked some of our hugely talented graphic designers at Sketch Corp to tell us what it’s really like.


graphic designers art director




Bachelor of Film

Masters in Creative Advertising & Graphic Design


Working for three marketing & creative agencies over the past eight years.

What are the advantages of working as a designer for an agency?

Dealing with a variety of clients from multiple industries means you’re constantly learning and forcing yourself to innovate. That variety also gives you the ability to experiment with different design styles. Keeping up to date with industry trends and developments, and collaborating with your peers improves your skills and knowledge.

And what are the disadvantages?

The lifespan of a project tends to be quite short, so you’re not involved in the company’s day to day developments. Many times you are responsible for establishing design direction, however are not involved in implementation as this is done internally. And of course, this doesn’t always pan out exactly as you had in mind.

What are the advantages of working as a freelancer?

I haven’t worked as a freelancer, but freelance graphic designers have told me the biggest advantage is the ability to manage your time around other activities in your life.

And the disadvantages?

Usually it’s harder to manage clients’ expectations when you’re on your own, and you end up not charging correctly for the amount of work produced.

What are the advantages of working as a designer in-house?

Again, I haven’t done it before, but I guess being involved in the company’s day to day developments means you acquire more knowledge about the client’s direction and goals.

And the disadvantages?

The job could become quite repetitive and it might be harder to experiment with new techniques and design styles.

What advice would you give to a designer who’s just finished studying and is weighing up their options?

I think a designer should specialise in an area and not try to cover everything. Junior designers should be wary of jobs that ask them to do “everything”.



Senior Graphic Designers




Bachelor in TV & Film Making. 

Graphic Design at Shillington College, Brisbane


I’ve worked in a digital agency, a creative agency, as a freelancer and as an in-house senior graphic designer for a large Australian training organisation.

What are the advantages of working as a designer for an agency?

It gives you the opportunity to work for multiple clients which pushes you to be more creative and to consider multiple target audiences.

And the disadvantages?

Working for a small agency is convenient if your goal is to have close and professional communication with your clients. Sometimes when you’re working for big agencies, the large number of people involved can distance you from the client.

What are the advantages of working as a freelancer?

Managing your own time can be a great advantage IFyou’re good at it.

And the disadvantages?

The biggest disadvantage is the constant, time-consuming chase for clients.

What are the advantages of working as a designer in-house?

One of the best parts of my previous job as an in-house graphic designer was to see the evolution of the brand I was working for. I was able to see how my work played a role in the success of the business.

And the disadvantages?

It can be slow and repetitive sometimes.

What advice would you give to a designer who’s just finished studying and is weighing up their options?

Research, be humble and don’t be afraid of failure. Keep in mind that being a graphic designer is probably one of the most underrated careers out there. This makes it our mission to constantly prove the importance of what we do.


Junior Graphic Designers




Graphic Design at Shillington College, Brisbane


I’ve worked as a freelancer and also as an in-house graphic designer for an Australian education start-up.

What are the advantages of working as a designer for an agency?

You rapidly solidify the skills you’ve learned at Design College. The work is often fast-paced so you quickly develop organisational and time management skills.

And the disadvantages?

Sometimes you get pushy clients, briefs lacking in detail, or other challenges. But if you apply your skill and knowledge to the best of your ability, you’ll come out the other end happy with the result.

What are the advantages of working as a freelancer?

The end-to-end exposure you have on a project.

And the disadvantages?

There’s no buffer between yourself and the client. If something goes awry, it’s your sole responsibility to deal with it. You’re accountable for every aspect of a project, from design to accounting. It can be a lot.

What are the advantages of working as a designer in-house?

More consistent work hours and more consistent work. Dealing directly with decision makers is an advantage. There may be opportunities to make more money and transition into different roles not available to you in an agency.

And the disadvantages?

A lack of variety, but you can make up for this in personal projects and freelance work.

What advice would you give to a designer who’s just finished studying and is weighing up their options?

Go to industry events, mingle, and keep educating yourself. If you’re not sure what sort of graphic designer you want to be, give yourself some space to figure it out. I remind myself why I got into the industry – a love for design.


Here at Sketch Corp. we’re always on the look-out for talented, passionate graphic designers. If this sounds like you send your resume through to [email protected]

Disruptor Brand vs Challenger Brand: What’s the difference?

Think of some of the hugely successful brands shaking up industries or transforming consumer habits. Say Uber, Airbnb or Aldi for example. Often they’re described as being either a disruptor brand or a challenger brand. These terms might sound like they’re similar, but they’re actually very different.

Here at Sketch Corp, we know that helping you understand your brand is crucial to the success of your business. It’s what we do every day. So when a client recently asked us what the difference was between a Disruptor brand and a Challenger brand, we thought a clear explanation was in order.

So what is the difference?

A Disruptor brand is generally a game changer in an industry. They’ve spotted a gap in the market and a better way of delivering what the customer needs.

They might not be the first to do something, but they make sure they’re the best at it. They give the perception that they’re somehow NEW or the only brand around that can give the customer what they’re after.

Think of ride sharing giant Uber or the world’s largest accommodation sharing site Airbnb. Huge advancements in technology and the rise of smartphone use has helped them turn an industry on its head. And they’re changing long-term consumer behaviour along the way.

Often these Disruptor brands are led by a founder. Like Elon Musk, the charismatic CEO of electric car company Tesla with his social media fan base in the millions.

Disruptor brands also evolve to make sure they keep on meeting the consumers’ needs. And some of them have become part of our language along the way. How often do you hear a successful start-up described as the “Uber of..” something? Or friends discussing what show they recommend “binge-watching” on Netflix?



disruptor brands, challenger brand



A Challenger brand on the other hand isn’t the market leader, but they do things differently. They challenge the norm and gathering a loyal following of customers along the way. They don’t always have the resources to match what they want to do, but they’re ambitious nonetheless.

German supermarket chain Aldi is an example of a Challenger brand. They have their own way of doing things. It’s certainly a different shopping experience to the market leaders. The store layouts are the same with that middle mystery aisle. Pack your own bags and pay quickly or you’ll hold up the line at checkout. And make sure you’re front of the queue on Special Buys Day!

But it’s all resonating with consumers. This year, Roy Morgan’s Net Trust Score survey crowned ALDI the most trusted brand in Australia replacing the iconic flying kangaroo, Qantas.



challenger brand, disruptor brand



As The Challenger Project highlights, Challenger brands are “rewarded with significant and sustained growth through their marketing actions”. Not that they won’t change it up and disrupt the way they’re doing things if they feel the industry is changing quickly and it’ll help them continue to grow their customer base.

Whether a Challenger or a Disruptor or another type of brand altogether, it’s critical to be clear in knowing what your brand is all about. This is where marketing experts can help you narrow down your brand’s purpose, architecture, positioning and target audience to get your message across.

Is print dead? The new truth about print graphic design

‘Is print dead?’ It’s a question we’re often asked at Sketch Corp, along with: ‘Do other companies still do it?’ ‘Does it still work?’ ‘Is it worth it?’ And so on. Forget what you’ve heard. We’ll tell you what we’ve experienced in the past four years as a marketing agency offering print graphic design as a service (in among our many digital solutions).

We’ve been hit with these questions from genuinely interested SME owners in all industries. They want to know where print is at and whether it’s still a worthwhile part of their marketing mix in terms of ROI and brand building. If you’re weighing up whether a brochure, printed capability statement or snail mail-out is worth the paper it’s printed on, it’s a GREAT question.

Let’s start with the short answer. NO. Print is not dead. Its role may have changed, but it’s definitely still around and companies continue to brief in reams of print collateral each week. If print graphic design is the right strategy for your business and what you’re trying to achieve, you should certainly consider it.

Of course, the budget for print graphic design has dropped because we now have a little thing called The Internet. That was always going to have a huge impact on print. Now business owners and marketing managers have options for affordable advertising that would have been inconceivable 10 years ago. The goal posts have shifted.

But is print dead? Absolutely not.

What has changed are all the avenues available to businesses now. If you’re weighing up print possibilities, they need to be carefully assessed in terms of probable results versus digital channels. How is print material likely to perform?

This is a difficult to predict because print is notoriously tough to measure. That’s its biggest disadvantage. With digital, you can measure a campaign’s performance instantly. AdWords, remarketing and Facebook ads, for example, are transparent, trackable and can be analysed in real time. With print, not so much.

You’ve got to consider your budget and where your target audience is ‘hanging out’ and digesting info. How you want your audience to behave is important too. Getting a reader to go from a print to a digital destination without a clickable link is a BIG ask. How much is that behaviour worth to you in terms of ROI? Pondering these questions will help you understand if print is the right way to go or not.


When print is and isn’t the answer

Let’s say your budget is $100 and you want a visitor to review a product in your e-commerce shop. A digital ad wins hands down.

HOWEVER, if the value of what you’re selling is up there (in the thousands) and involves a series of pitch meetings, people want something they can hold in their hands. Same goes for if your service offering is complex and technical. People want something they can keep on their desk, contemplate and show other stakeholders.

The old ‘leave-behind’. An impressive, professionally designed sales brochure or flyer with key information laid out and testimonials there in black and white. This material clinches new business for our clients every day of the week. Here, print graphic design pays off repeatedly.  

But it doesn’t mean that any old material will do. Today’s marketplace is savvy. They see well-designed marketing material all the time and their expectations are high. If you’re trying to establish your professionalism or show off your capability, it needs to be embraced as an art form, carefully thought through and updated periodically to stay current.

This is where your marketing agency can help with crafting copy, selecting images and making sure the print graphic designin your brochure, flyer or corporate document is spot on and sending all the right messages.


Print design flyers

Need print graphic design that performs? Reach out to us.
In the meantime, explore one of our favourite print hashtags on social media, #printisntdead


How to win business and persuade investors with corporate document design

The last couple of months have seen our team working like crazy on huge corporate document design projects. All have been heavy on data, infographics and icons. 
Corporate document design for material such as EOFY company performance reports, investor highlights and information memorandums tends to be both challenging and rewarding for a creative agency – particularly a boutique one with a small team.

Challenging because these important projects come with super-tight deadlines, data interpretation, exacting standards and require undivided attention from a big chunk of the team. Rewarding because when you get it right and the document performs the way it’s supposed to (aka leads to huge investment or results in business growth), it’s truly a thing of beauty.

You don’t want just any old designer who happens to be available to merely ‘phone in’ these influential documents. Not when, for example, an information memorandum design is intended for high-level decision-makers or potential investors considering whether to buy your company. These are crucial representations of your business that require a good deal of time, attention and expertise. To get a good result, you need your best designers and copywriters on the job – and that often means day and night.

Understanding the project’s purpose

The whole ‘understanding what you’re designing’ factor cannot be underestimated. Always, the best designers are the ones who read the brief and the supplied copy thoroughly to deliver a design that’s big on style as well as substance. One that’s truly compelling on every level – not just slick on the surface. Everyone working on the project needs to understand what it’s selling. Namely the client’s business. Or a division of it. Or perhaps their client base. This is particularly true of information memorandum design.

In our case, as with many creative agencies lucky enough to receive corporate document design commissions, we’ve attended lotsof workshops with clients to understand the inner workings of their companies. It’s the best way for us to then visually illustrate business models, concepts and structures through eye-catching infographics.

Which brings us to the role of infographic design in corporate documents. Those gorgeous little graphics that say so much, yet look so simple even a five-year-old could get the gist. Meanwhile, our art director and graphic designers will tell you they’re not so easy to create. Not if you’re invested in doing it right.

So what makes a corporate document design powerful? What makes it good? We’ve created a few key points to keep in mind when briefing in your next corporate document infographic. Here’s what it takes to get the job done right.


Otherwise, they’re not infographics – they’re just graphics. Infographic design is best employed when you need to convey complex information quickly. With the help of infographics, people should be able to get their heads around what you’re trying to say instantly in a meeting or pitch. Our creative agency uses them most often in information memorandum design and annual reports to sum up business models, processes, and to provide snap shots of performance.


The time it takes to thoroughly brief in your creative agency or in-house design team is entirely worth it. That includes everyone involved. Explain the infographic’s purpose and what you hope to achieve. If something is worthy of an infographic, it’s worthy of a strong brief to the agency or individual tasked with making it easy to understand.


Think about your key messages or selling points. If you can say what you’re trying to say in a simple sentence that is easily understood on first reading, there’s nothing more powerful than that! In this situation, an infographic design may just complicate things – which of course defeats the whole purpose.


If you’re going down the infographic design path, it has to be SUPER-easy to understand. Ask people what they think it means and take their feedback on board. If they can’t pick up what you’re putting down, it’s not them – it’s you. Investors presented with your information memorandum design probably won’t get it either. Back to the drawing board!


In many instances it’s true that the physical size of a design element or the length of copy is inversely proportionate to how long it takes to create. The same as when you commission a logo, infographic design requires a significant time investment. What looks like a simple picture is so much more than that! The creative agency or designer needs to fully understand the concept and then get it right. Yes, sometimes the stars align and these things flow quickly, but sometimes they don’t. Be realistic, have patience and sure enough, you’ll be presented with something amazing.



It’s that time of year! Partner with an experienced creative agency for your corporate document design.


– Sketch Corp.