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Context

Do get the context and target audience right

It is vital that your ideas & design style is appropriate to the target audience you are aiming for, if you get this aspect wrong then you'll risk alienating a large proportion of potential customers as well as wasting a heck of a lot of time, effort and money. It's no good trying to reach an older audience with a cartoon-style fast animation, neither can you reach a younger audience with a conservative, more reserved approach

It's almost impossible to reach all levels of consumer consciousness because what one person finds amusing another will find incredibly irritating, what one person may find stylish and sophisticated, another will find boring and stagnant. So you have to aim your project at who you would most likely respond in a positive manner, rather than trying desperately to appeal to all of the people all of the time

The best way of finding out what works and what does not is testing. Test, test and test again. And when you're done testing, test some more. It is the only surefire way of knowing whether your wonderful idea is a hit or a miss with the public. And they are a fickle lot - what they pick up one week, they'll drop the next

Listen to people's reactions and be prepared to make changes, even if sometimes they are changes you'd rather not wish to undertake at the risk of losing artistic integrity. Something that is highly artistic, may not necessarily be something that gets through to the right people commercially

It is a fine balancing act and experience is really the best indicator in knowing what truly works and what doesn't. And even then, some of the big boys who really should know what they're doing occasionally get it wrong. There are plenty of cases of that happening !

Think : Who should your design be aimed at and how will they react to your ideas ?

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Communication

Do communicate a simple message, clearly and effectively

The art to triggering the desired response from your target group of people is to try and focus on one idea at a time in any given media. Avoid cramming everything into 1 piece as this can appear confusing and put people off. The attention span of the human mind in getting people interested in what you have to say is pretty short and if you don't grab them straight away, they'll quickly get bored and move elsewhere. This is the main reason why graphic design in business is so important. If you don't grab people's attention, someone else will

As well as trying to stay focused on one unique selling point at a time, it is important to use the right language and communicate effectively. Classically, the advertising industry tends to categorize target audiences by what kind of newspaper they might read. The kinds of people who may read the Sun tend to be quite different from those who read the Daily Mail and those who read the Daily Mail are usually quite different to those who may read the Telegraph etc

Using clear, plain, jargon-free English is almost always always the best philosophy to adopt when copy writing for a design-based campaign. We hope you find the Chameleon website clear and easy to understand. This is because the kinds of people we'd like to work with would ideally be those who agree that information should be clear and easy to understand

Why use a paragraph of long business buzz words when a single line will do ?

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Keep it simple

Do keep your design ideas & layouts simple

Do let your work breathe

Along with keeping your main idea simple, it is also a good idea to keep your overall design layouts simple as well. Resist the temptation to add unnecessary clutter to or around your design. Simple layouts communicate a simple message the most effectively. Cluttered, messy layout do not. Simple eh ?

Some of the worst examples of messy DIY slap-dash design work can usually be found in your handy local telephone directory. To test this theory - why not grab a telephone directory now and flick through a few pages looking at the adverts shown ?

The larger national & international companies with enough money to spend on professional design agencies to create their adverts will usually have a pretty good job done - their adds will be clean, clear, sophisticated, intelligent, stylish, uncramped and often humorous. Typically, examples of well laid out design work can usually be found in the Insurance and Banking sections of local telephone directories

Examples of quite hideous design efforts created by smaller, more local companies can usually be found in directory sections such as Builders, Decorators and Plumbers. Although not all ads shown in these sections will be bad in terms of design & layout, it's a fair bet to say that most will probably be fairly horrific. This is usually because smaller firms either do not have sufficient resources to fund a design campaign or question why they should need to pay someone else to do a job they could probably do themselves. Big mistake indeed

Without the proper design training, DIY jobs look awful. Good layouts need to breathe. They need space around them and a well thought out structure so that all the various graphic elements align beautifully and do not clash

Those who do not know what they are doing will often adopt the philosophy of "I'm paying a lot of money for the advertisement space, so I need to stuff as much information into every last square millimeter that I can... If there's a space - fill it !"

Don't do this. Instead, let your designs breathe with enough blank space surrounding the main aspects (commonly known in the design industry as white space) In fact, this principal should apply to all your design work both now and for the future

At Chameleon we spend a considerable amount of time creating sketches and initial layouts for our projects - both simple and sometimes a little more complicated. When looking back, it has always been the simplest layouts that have worked the best and often it is good to know when you have added too much. So, step back and reconsider : "..do I really need to include this bit here in my work ?". Do this for every design element in your piece and you won't go far wrong

Clutter is not needed and only ever adds random confusion to an otherwise aesthetically pleasing layout

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