Rethinking Your Printed Content: Simple Changes For More Effective Collateral


Imagine you’re meeting with a client. It’s going well, they seem to be receptive to your pitch and as you wrap up the meeting, you feel very confident. To drive home your point, you reach into your bag and pull out a brochure and handout reiterating some of your key points. Then you say goodbye and hope that you’ll hear from them soon.

But you never hear from them. And when you get a hold of them, they can barely remember your pitch. The handouts you gave them are gone. 

There are a variety of reasons this can happen. Anything from your presentation not being as persuasive as you thought, to internal changes in the prospect’s needs while you were out of contact, or to just the flat out failure of your printed pieces to effectively convince your audience. 

That may sound like a bit of reach to you, but put yourself in these prospect’s shoes. Going back to the office after the pitch, taking a look at the information you gave them and feeling… underwhelmed. Whether it be due to lacking information on these materials, poor design or just generally not standing out at all, it’s easy to see why someone might be turned off.

Whatever the reason might be, you don’t want to be second guessing yourself down the road. Take the following steps and put your printed materials in the best position to succeed. 

Presentation and Quality of Information

To begin with, take a look at how you currently structure your information. Is it easy to read? Do you rely too much on buzzwords, or do you take extra steps to differentiate yourself from competitors? Recognizing your shortcomings is the first step in making necessary improvements to your printed materials. 

Moving forward, break down complex ideas and service descriptions in easier to read portions using bullet points and by highlighting key words. If you’re not sure what words to emphasize, try highlighting verbs; bringing extra attention to actions will create a sense of movement in your handout and stand out to your readers.

When considering the design of your materials, keep elements you like or have heard positive feedback on and ditch the rest. Be sure to invest an ample amount of time to making sure your work stands out. Ideally you’ll want to work with a graphic designer, whether they be internal staff or outsourced to another company.

These companies can come in a variety of forms, from freelancers to even the printer you work with regularly. For example, here at Aloha Print Group we offer graphic design services. Click here to read some of our tips for how to best work with a graphic designer to ensure your project reaches your desired outcome – it’ll save you some time and help you approach your designer with all necessary information.

Different Sizes

Now that you have your information and general design down, consider presenting your information in a different structural manner than you may have in the past. By this, I mean something as simple as changing up the size or layout of the page. 

Have a vertical handout? Consider flipping to landscape. Though it seems like a small alteration, this will allow you to potentially get more creative with what you’re putting together. Instead of presenting information in a top down format, you can use the extra space going left to right, creating something like a walkthrough or bar graph that wouldn’t be able to fit on a handout printed vertically. 

Use brochures instead? Try different fold out. If you only use a bifold, for example, consider using a trifold instead. This will change the layout of your content, allowing you to give more attention to points or services that might be accidentally marginalized in a brochure laid out more traditionally. You can emphasize these points on their own page, for example, and up the drama as your audience flips through page after page of services.

You can also create an entirely new creative print project. Something like an annual calendar can be a special touch that keeps your brand front in center. For example, here at Aloha we print a calendar every summer of events going on throughout Chicago. This project is always a huge hit – we even hear from clients every spring who keep it at their desk and eagerly await the next calendar.

Projects like these can make your presentation to prospects more memorable and help you in the long run. Whether you’re meeting with a prospect one on one or passing out information at a trade show, think about how you can present your information in different ways and enjoy the results. 


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