If you’ve had your website and marketing materials more than a few years, chances are that things are starting to look a little stale. You may not need something as extreme as a complete overhaul of your content, or a relaunch of your brand, but every business can benefit from a reevaluation from time to time.
A fresh design can renew interest in your brand or business and can help to attract new customers. Think about when someone in your neighborhood repaints their house and you suddenly find yourself thinking, “Wow, I’ve never noticed that house before but it’s pretty nice.”
I recently undertook two projects, one involving a redesign of promotional materials, and the other involving a redesign of a website.
Redesign of a Report
In the first example below, an informational report was created using a Microsoft Word template and clip art. While the wording is the same in both the old and new reports, one has more “readability.” At first glance we are presented with circular blue overlapping background, a rectangular image with bright red accents, and a dark logo on a dark background, all pushed to the far right of the page. This makes for a confusing jumble. The eye does not know where to look first. The bold orange on the “Top 10” page and the large clip art image serve to pull the eye upward to the top of the page, and away from the content. Establishing a clear hierarchy of design elements is essential to guide the reader and produce clarity in design.
In the newly restructured design, the colors are reduced to just orange and black. Each item in the list is separated by a simple orange line to allow the reader to stay within one section at a time. On the front page, the author is shown speaking. This creates a direct connection with the reader, this isn’t just some anonymous report, here is a real person giving real advice. Previously, contact information was difficult to find and was only listed on the final page. In the updated design, a simple footer was created to anchor the page and reinforce author name recognition with the reader. If these pages are printed out for a seminar or trade show, each of them can serve as a call to action to contact the author or visit the website.
An added benefit of this redesign was the reduction of pages. The original report was an overwhelming 8 pages, while the newly revamped design came in at a less intimidating 6 pages. This also translates to a direct cost benefit when printing handouts for seminars.
Changes to this design took 1 hour to complete.
Redesign of a Website
In the next example, the WordPress website drjosephreed.com undergoes some simple fixes to create a more welcoming and complete design. Although Dr. Reed has plenty of valuable content on his website, it’s not displayed in an inviting manner. The color palette feels cold and distant, while lack of customization makes the site seem more like an amateur blog rather than the website of a credentialed professional. The photo of Dr. Reed and his dog is bleak and dark. Those trees in the background are dead, that wall is in ill repair, and the text…more than a little difficult to read over the sea of bricks.
In contrast, the refreshed design incorporates a soothing palette of fresh greens, tan, and dark gray. The header text is overlaid on a semi-transparent white background to subdue the noise of the photo and help bring focus to the typography. The dark gray background in the main body of the page serves to highlight the blog post section and give the eye an obvious place to go after taking in the main photo.
Changes to this design took 1 hour to complete and also included some SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Both of the examples show a drastic improvement for a minimal time investment. Regular updates show customers or clients that you are always improving, and keeping up with current trends and standards.
If you have a website or promotional items that could use a fresh new look, get in touch with me today and Let’s Get Creative!
Ready for the next step? Move on to Social Media Branding: Unify your presence across the web.