Collectively, your logo, business cards, brochures, and website all make up your law firm’s face. Even if you market with pictures of yourself or other attorneys in your firm, your brand is still the face of the firm.
When it comes to design, unless you have a creative background with the technical knowledge to go with it, designing your print collateral is a job best placed in the hands of a professional.
When deciding on your print designs, keep in mind that simplicity is the key. If you hand a brochure to clients that is overflowing with too much copy, they are probably going to look at your logo, your website address, and disregard the rest.
Use bulletins to outline how you are going to help the prospective client with their problem. Always include more imagery than information and do not be afraid to utilize white space. If you ask any designer with high end experience, they will tell you that designing with white space and simplicity is much more difficult than a complicated design.
This topic brings back a memory of a local attorney who had hired a designer to put posters up in his office to emphasize his practice areas. Rather than create simple one sentence statements and use appropriate stock photography with noticeable placement of the attorney’s logo on the bottom, the designer took a different approach.
They placed the logo at the top of the poster. This is a mistake. Your logo should always be below your message. How you can help always comes first.
Second, they included four lines of content. That is excessive. To add insult to injury, they used four different fonts.
Third, they used freely available stock photography. While you might pay a little more for high resolution professional stock photography, there is no excuse to use anything but professional imagery.
All of those elements together resulted in five posters that the attorney kept in poster tubes in his storage room. When asked why he approved the posters for printing he said “I didn’t. My designer showed me the compositions, I was tied up on a case for a few weeks then one day, they just arrived.”
Which brings us to the fourth and most important tip for professional print collateral – have a contract that clearly outlines the process of design and approval. Creative services, by their very nature, are subjective. I always recommend not using designers from your personal contacts. This often leads to hesitating about voicing your true opinions on their work, which may lead to boxes of print collateral in your storage room. Plus, just because you know them does not mean they understand law firm branding.
Designers are used to their work being critiqued and a professional graphic artist will not take it personally. Ultimately, every designer and branding firm wants a nice piece to include in their portfolio and a satisfied customer they can point to when pursuing future projects. You need to focus on what matters to you, which is reaching a design that you are proud to show off as the face of your bigger law firm.