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.
- INFOGRAPHICS MUST HAVE INTENT BEHIND THEM
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.
- BRIEF YOUR DESIGN TEAM CLEARLY
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.
- DECIDE IF COPY WILL WORK BETTER
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.
- CLARITY IS EVERYTHING
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!
- ACCEPT THAT IT WILL TAKE TIME
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.