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

Charting a New Course for Your Publication

Why not add credibility to your publication with some great visuals?  Indeed, charts and graphs offer great ways to increase the effectiveness of your publications. Through the use of data, charts and graphs support the arguments or positions that you are advancing. These graphic enhancements are commonly used in corporate annual reports for the financial section or to illustrate services, accomplishments or goals.

Infographics are graphical representations that are used to make complex data easy to understand. The idea here is to make the data user-friendly by distilling it down though the use of simple graphical symbols rather than lengthy technical texts.

Here are four ways to make effective charts and graphs:

1) Build elegant charts and graphs. Go beyond the usual.  Add depth, color and shape to your charts and use colors consistent with the rest of your design.  The three samples below shows a very cleanly designed chart that we created for the State of Commute Report for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  We created nearly 150 charts and tables for this lengthy report.  All these graphics had the same font, same color scheme and same dimensions.  This definitely makes for a more harmonious design and hence a successful corporate communication. Continue reading

Let’s Face It—Testimonials Add Great Buzz

Testimonials are terrific additions to any newsletter. They add credibility and allow for that special personal touch where readers can relate to one another and feel “connected.”

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Simply add some illustrations of people chit-chatting about the publication.  They can comment on the publication’s benefits and what it offers. It can take the form of a single column or pull quotes scattered throughout the publication. The “talking heads” should be drawn in a whimsical style to give a lighter touch and to make the publication more user-friendly. We drew these illustrations by hand, digitized the art and added color using various software packages.

Below you will find a sample of a column treatment in a newsletter layout.

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Adding a testimonial column can help gain the interest of the audience. Indeed, people enjoy reading compliments and little snippets about how things are going in the lives of people with similar interests. What a great way to create some positive buzz about your publication!

You can also gather feedback from tweets from Twitter.  Just stay connected on social media and you will have plenty of content to use.

Here’s an example of a book cover that I illustrated using “talking heads.”  Talk Your Head Off was published by Pearson Education and can be ordered online. This publication teaches good conversational skills to people learning English.

"Talk Your Head Off", © Pearson Education. Written by Brana West and illustrated by Harlan West.

“Talk Your Head Off”, © Pearson Education. Written by Brana West and illustrated by Harlan West.

So go ahead and up the chatter.  You’ll be glad you did.  After all, compliments usually reap great benefits.

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To find out more about how we can help create an effective newsletter, e-publication, or invitation for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Pixels Made Perfect

Many of our readers sent us e-mails giving us a thumbs-up on our last blog post, Jumping Off the Edge. As a result, we have decided to create another blog post about unusual border treatments. This time, we used pixels as our special effect.

A pixelated border treatment is a great special effect for newsletters on communication, technology, the Web, and electronics. It can also be used for other topics such as automobiles, sports, transportation and corporate communications. Used in the right combination, these graphics can help create successful corporate communications.  Take a look at our masthead. It employs a pixel treatment.

The newsletter below uses a unique pixelated reverse fill. Digital-Newsletter

Here’s some examples of different pixelated border effects.

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cardigitized face-digitzedTo find out more about how we can help create an interesting edge effect for your company’s newsletter, collateral or e-publication, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

After all, we live in a digital world.  Why not make your newsletter pixel perfect?

Print Budget On the Line? Hang Up and Switch to an Online Newsletter

Has your print budget virtually disappeared in this age of digital media?  Don’t despair.  Online e-newsletters and e-publications are here to help. Join the trend and you will see how quickly you become a believer in online media.

Indeed, by switching to an e-newsletter you will have the ability to:

1) save money.  No longer do you have to worry about print, mailing and distribution costs. Yes, there are programming costs but these are usually quite a bit less than printing, postage and fulfillment.

2) have the world as your audience. Your newsletter has the potential to reach people around the world. No longer do you have to confine your readership to just your mailing list.

3) publish content that is up-to-date and current. You can get the information out quickly and keep it current with regular updates or supplemental articles. No longer do you have to wait for the printer and “snail mail” to distribute content that in many cases is weeks old. Continue reading