Way back in the dark ages of 2006, yes back when people still sent packages through the GASP! postal service, I was working on my own newly-minted-freshly-graduating-college-brand. At the time, it was extremely important that printed collateral be designed, considered, and meticulously scrutinized before sending them out to any potential employers, and when I mean meticulously scrutinized, I mean this was some literal advice I got from a professor at the time:
“Everything, down to the damn postage stamp, must be ‘designed’” And truth be told, these words still haunt me to this day.
Of course now we have way more of a digital presence than a tangible one, but the weight of importance to printed material (aka things people can hold in their hands) is not to be overlooked. The power of feeling something in your hands is one designers have ooh-ed and aah-ed about for centuries. Seriously, since Gutenburg and his press in 1500 something. Books, and their business counterparts- brochures, folders, booklets, pamphlets, “leave-behinds”, whatever you call them, create an instant personal intimacy (an appropriate one) between the business and the potential client. Something physical, being considered over a pdf doc/pricelist or a website, will be something that is easier to ‘get back to’ attention wise. I know from sending hundreds of thank you cards, little posters for “gifts” (designers like to be bribed, what can I say?), in the hopes that one of those little promotional snippets will make it to the desk of so-and-so who, one day, needs the talent of an amazing designer (Me!) and then looks over at my adorable gift, or poster, and says “Wow! this designer is fantastic- I can see their awesome talent in this proof! Right now! I’ll be emailing them shortly…” And you get the picture.
Printed brand material gives you the option of planting seeds and letting them blossom in the future, at some magical unforseen time. Really, usually these things feel like happy bursts of awesome coming into your life, but I totally digress.
My real point in all of this is that you really never know what element of your marketing or overall brand strategy is going to work for every single option in attracting a potential client. Using tangible pieces within a digital brand is a classic, and now very under appreciated, method of connecting with clients, and honestly, the more ways we can connect with potential clients, customers, fan bases- whomever the object, the better.
Until next time!