Designing for Dance
1. Colour and images
The most effective adverts invite the eye to rest on them rather than ‘shouting’ with too many colours, fonts and images. Use colour for emphasis and remember that the colour you see on your computer screen is not necessarily the same as how the printed version will look.
Using your own photography for designing adverts, flyers or any other printed design is always a bonus. Otherwise there are free websites such as www.sxc.hu that will give you free images. However, always make sure that the photography from a website is free stock unless you don’t mind paying for an image. It is also advisable to use a high resolution photo, otherwise the quality when printed won’t look professional. As a guide, any photo used for printing should always be over 1MB.
Where will your advert appear? What do the other adverts in that publication look like? Try to make yours different so it stands out from the crowd.
2. Who are you talking to?
Decide who your audience is and keep them in mind when you’re coming up with your copy and design. The more you know about your audience, the better equipped you are to attract their attention and communicate your message. Knowing your audience well will help you determine the best format through which you wish to communicate. i.e. printed materials such as flyers, business cards or an online banner ad.
“Try to make your design different so it stands out from the crowd”
Have you used white space? It doesn’t matter how great the picture you’re using might be, if the image and text can’t ‘breathe’ the effect will be ruined.
If you can’t afford a big advert, be creative with the small space and make it very clear where people go to get further information – there may not be room for much more than a website address, so make it a feature of the design.
4. Think about the design and size of the space you have
What size should your ad or leaflet be? Will it have to fit into a DL leaflet holder or does it need to be mailed in a regular C5 envelope?
Consider the size, shape and function of your layout. Draw a mock-up, showing where the artwork, photos should be placed relative to the text. Grids give structure to your designs. It’s like the frame to your car. They provide a solid basis for starting projects and allow you to easily align elements with coherency and consistency.
Is your branding clear and attractive? If you have to include more than one logo or graphic, a neutral strip at the bottom or top of the flyer is a good idea so they are clearly visible and the design looks clean. A neutral pale grey or just white will work well as background colours for the strip.
5. Consider your fonts
If you are restricted to images or working to a budget then designing your advert, flyer or print with only typography can work well.
Even if you do have space for images or logos, the use of typography can often make or break a design. When creating advertising, choose two fonts and try and stick to them: one font for the headers and titles and a second one for the body paragraphs.
Using anything more than your chosen two fonts is going to potentially look busy and messy.
Always remember to use easy-to-read fonts. They don’t have to be boring, but anything too scripty or stylised can be difficult to read, particularly if the space
Bhairvi Gudka & Tamsin Moore