Promotional Postcards for Artists

November 14, 2009

We live in an amazing time.  We can make our own promotional pieces to do our own marketing and even print them.  It used to be that you had to hire a graphic designer to do these things for you.  They were trained in all methods of reproduction, how to prepare camera ready artwork and get things produced for you the way you wanted them.  Now we can do this for ourselves.  BUT, one rule I learned in school for graphic design was that you should never do your own promo work.  It’s hard to be objective with your own stuff so be smart:  put something together and then pass it around to people, even people you don’t know (OH! another way to develop your market!).  Ask them what they see first and what they most remember about it after you take it back from them.   Hopefully you get answers like:  I see there is a show of art at blah blah on such a date;  I like the blue piece or something like that.

Effective marketing pieces stick in people’s minds.  Remember the point of a marketing piece is to communicate that this work is showing at some place on some date.  Don’t throw in 5 pictures where one or two would have more impact.  The point isn’t to exhibit all of your work on one postcard!  This same rule applies to websites, flyers, brochures – anything to do with marketing.  Again it comes back to: if you make people work to extract the info, they’ll just throw it away.  Don’t make it difficult to find out about your work.

Keep like things together.  For example, don’t “sprinkle” your work around the promo piece or web page as if it is a spice or sprinkles on a cookie.  Make it easy for the viewer to SEE as a body of work, not a spice.  This means have areas for each type of information being presented.   Think about it: what makes more impact on you when you look at a webpage or a postcard?  Is it all that text or is it the visuals?   Make the most of each element so that they’re actually seen.  Too much text is never worth the space it takes up because people tend to look at visuals rather then read. Use your space wisely, make it easy to read, use one or two visuals with high impact.  Don’t overfill the space because eyes need a place to rest.  Think of it this way: if you have a cluttered room does your eye land on any one thing?  Not when everything is competing for attention.  Do you really see one picture amongst 12 on the wall or is it better to see a picture when it is by itself on wall?   There’s your answer to design!

Tomorrow we lighten up after all of this business of art work but talk a little more about design.  =)


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