Why Companies Need to Nourish a Passion

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

Just as kids need an “outlet” to keep them busy and out of trouble, companies need to nourish heir strengths and what they believe in.  This is not just what they specialize in, but something more. It is something they truly believe in and care passionately about.

Take, for example, the desire of a cable company to help connect millions of disadvantaged children with Internet service. Or, take, the desire of a marketing firm to create publications which help promote recycling, and therefore, ultimately benefit the environment. nurtureyourpassionOr what about the desire of a large grocer not only to provide healthy organically grown fruits and vegetables but also to lead the fight to label genetically engineered foods?  It is not enough that a company is good at what it does. It must feel passionately to help differentiate itself from the competition. That passion resonates throughout the organization and helps to invigorate employees, boost morale and provide a positive corporate image.  Here’s some ways to cultivate that passion in a company:

1) Hire employees that believe in the company and want to help make the company move forward. Your employees are the front line soldiers and they need to spread the message, not just wholeheartedly, but passionately.  If they don’t believe in the product or service, who will? Continue reading

Healthy Designs for Healthcare Marketing

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, hospitals, medical centers and outpatient facilities.

Caring for patients also includes caring for the type and quality of the communications they receive. The healthcare industry uses lots of collaterals and informational pieces to communicate with patients, members, physicians, staff, agencies and suppliers.mortar-and-psel Marketing firms that specialize in healthcare publications are often called in to create external and internal communications for larger organizations. As one of these marketing firms, HWDS Creative has developed hundreds of effective print and online e-publications for the healthcare industry.

There are several important elements that we look for when creating a healthcare publication. These include the following:

1) The intended audience—The design firm must make sure that the publication, whether it be a poster, newsletter, report or collateral is geared to the intended audience.  The audience might be patients, members of the healthcare plan or group, physicians, clinicians, administrative staff, suppliers or insurance representatives—all have very specific and differing needs. Continue reading

A Great Masthead Can Make All the Difference

Let’s face it; a masthead is the first thing we see when we pick up a newsletter.  It generally tells, who, what and when.  It’s like taping a sign to your forehead and shouting, “look at me.”  A great masthead can help determine whether a publication will be successful.

An interesting masthead can make or break a newsletter.  It can get people to read further and it puts a company’s “best foot” forward.  It is often the first thing that people see in terms of a company’s image on page.  So it better be good.

Here’s some samples of mastheads that HWDS has helped design for our clients.

MTINewsbytes CommuterConnections1

HarborToHillHRESummer MMatters NorwalkTransitNewsmasthead OrangePealApril2013masthead

KPBPReflections

csnews

An effective masthead requires six main traits.  1) it should be memorable; 2) it should show strength; 3) it should convey a positive image; 4) it should embody a distinct elegance in design; 5) it should contain a catchy name and 6) it should contain the company’s name and/or logo. Yes, it is a tall order to cram all this into 2 or 3 inches of vertical space.

A masthead should be branded.  It needs to compliment other company publications and be consistent with the approved the brand.  A masthead should also be easily discernible as representing the topic it stands for. For example, a railroad newsletter should have a masthead which quickly tells the reader that it is a publication about trains.

Choosing the right typeface can make a world of difference. We work closely with the client to select a typeface that is strong, powerful and aesthetically pleasing and yet works with the topic.  Selecting the most appropriate typestyle for the topic can set the tone for the entire publication.  We often go through many iterations of a masthead before a final design is approved.

The color of the masthead can say a great deal about who you are as a company. Certain colors can show strength.  Other colors convey warmth or personalization.  We work with the client to develop the most effective color combination.  Sometimes, the masthead colors change from month to month. This provides freshness and variety and makes it easy for the reader to see that the issue is “new.”

Images included in a masthead can also define your company. We select images which best represent a company’s mission or vision for the future. The images should be positive and forward-looking and should represent the them of the newsletter.

Having the right graphic design for the masthead is critical.  So give your newsletter a makeover.  Start with the masthead and work down. To find out more about how we can help create an effective masthead for a newsletter or e-publication for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Go ahead and top-off your newsletter with the right message.  It’s like icing on a cake.

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Please note: All projects displayed on this blog are meant for educational and instructional rather than promotional purposes. We respect our clients’ brand integrity.