8 Necessary Things to Include in Print Marketing - dummies

8 Necessary Things to Include in Print Marketing

By Alexander Hiam

Many marketers start with their printed marketing materials (think ads, brochures, product literature as PDFs, and so on) and then work outward from there to incorporate the appeal and design concepts from their printed materials into other forms of marketing.

Brochures, tear sheets (one-page, catalog-style descriptions of products), e-brochures, posters for outdoor advertising, direct-mail letters, catalogs, and even blogs and web pages all share the basic elements of good print advertising: good copy and visuals mixed with eye-catching headlines.

They also all require a common look and feel that unites the separate pieces. Therefore, all good marketers need mastery of print advertising as a vital part of their knowledge base. The following sections cover the essentials of what you should know.

Before you can create great printed marketing materials, you must dissect an ad, brochure, tear sheet, or similar piece to identify its parts. Fortunately, you won’t find anything gross or disgusting inside most printed marketing materials. Just parts. And each part has a special name, as you can see from this list:

  • Headline: The large-print words that first attract the eye, usually at the top of the page.

  • Subhead: The optional addition to the headline to provide more detail, also in large (but not quite as large) print.

  • Copy or body copy: The main text, set in a readable size, like what printers use in the main text of a book or magazine.

  • Visual: An illustration that makes a visual statement. This image may be the main focus of the ad or other printed material (especially when you’ve designed an ad to show readers your product), or it may be secondary to the copy.

  • Caption: Copy attached to the visual to explain or discuss that visual. You usually place a caption beneath the visual, but you can put it on any side or even within or on the visual.

  • Trademark: A unique design that represents the brand or company (like Nike’s swoosh). You should always register trademarks.

  • Signature: The company’s trademarked version of its name. Often advertisers use a logo design that features a brand name in a distinctive font and style. The signature is a written equivalent to the trademark’s visual identity.

  • Slogan: An optional element consisting of a (ideally) short phrase evoking the spirit or personality of the brand. Timberland used a series of print ads in which the slogan “Boots, shoes, clothing, wind, water, earth and sky” appeared in the bottom-left corner, just beneath the company’s distinctive signature and logo — which marketers displayed on a photo of a rectangular patch of leather, like patches that appear on one of their products.

This figure shows most of these elements in a rough design for a print ad (a brochure’s layout is a bit more complicated). Generic terms are used in place of actual parts of an ad (headline for the headline, for example) so you can more easily see all the elements in action.

This fairly simple palette for a print ad design allows you endless variation and creativity. You can say or show anything, and you can do so in many different ways. (And even if you aren’t buying space to run the ad in a magazine or newspaper, you can use this layout for a one-page marketing sheet to include in folders or as handouts at trade shows.)