Have you ever been wowed by a really nice business card or walked into a really well decorated store or business and thought how well planned and executed it was? The decision to add texture, a unique fold or painted edges to a printed piece, or the choice to include certain décor in a space to really create a scene or evoke a feeling, are all just to capture your attention a little bit longer. Those choices help shape our impressions of people, places and things and ultimately sway our opinions in sales, working relationships and/or memory recall. Attention to detail establishes credibility, trustworthiness, and quality.
My job as a designer is to constantly think of unique ways for my clients to stand out in a crowd, to have that spark of variety from their competitors. By creating brands and collateral that show this extra effort, you are able to show your audience you care about their experience with you.
Here are some ways great examples of attention to detail:
Creativity and project budgets often define how far we can push the envelope. Not every project will have an endless budget to create the beautiful things we come up with but every now and then you have the opportunity to explore the custom quote world. The items that stick out in my mind the most are those client facing, sales driven materials that need to embody all three, quality, credibility and trustworthiness. Putting the extra time and money into developing a really solid leave behind for your sales team can be the best investment in your company. For example: One of my clients, Scene magazine, was looking for an impressive media kit to leave with potential advertisers that would function as both a brochure informing them of their audience and topics of interest and a point of sale for those ready to sign. They needed something that represented sales in a classy, edgy and creative way. As an entertainment magazine, they needed to deliver on there promise by giving them something enjoyable to read at the very first opportunity.
Sometimes you have a split second to capture a moment with a photograph and other times you have to set the stage. Neither is easy but setting the stage can take hours to get right. A perfect example of this is food photography. Have you ever wondered why certain photographs of food are more or less appealing than others? It’s about presentation; after all you eat with your eyes first. Well executed food photos survive on attention to detail, what ingredients were used to prepare the dish, what type of setting the food would be served in, the type of light you’d associate with the dish and even the method of how it was made. If you want a photograph that will make the viewer salivate, make sure you showcase the behind the scenes in an elegant way that brings home quality, creativity, and credibility. Make your viewer part of the experience.
Customer service example:
I’m always looking for new and exciting printing processes and the specialized companies that provide them. When I go on these vendor searches, I vet them by how well they look the part. How their websites are designed and how well the user experience is executed. I had a particular type of business card printing request and stumbled upon Print Peppermint, a specialty driven printing company. I went through all their services and products and was very impressed by the videos and informative photos of their products. I requested a particular type of sample via live chat and to my surprise there was a stellar customer service experience awaiting me. Within minutes I had a sample pack on it’s way and had my website reviewed and approved for vendor partnership. When I received my sample packet there was a handwritten personalized note along with an additional packet stating “Here’s the good stuff just for you Kelli.” This stuck with me as someone who really valued their product and was eager to “show me” what they were capable of. Quality was shown in the product and credibility was established with their attention to detail.
Whatever your business, you have a responsibility to pay attention to the small things. You need to sway opinions and be memorable. That’s not going to happen without putting some serious thought into your audiences’ interests. I’m not saying that everything you print needs to have foil or be on an expensive, unique paper or have crazy folds, but spending a little extra here and there (time or money) on spot varnish, promotional items and/or customer service can't hurt. Your audience will repay you with their loyalty. The proof is in the details.