Imagine your best sales rep, in their fresh pressed outfit where the expensive watch matches the pattern socks and the corporate colors. Right on time, he hands the highly sought after consumer a brochure. However, the text's hierarchy is off and the photography looks as it has been cut out with a scissors. The font is just what you have used for years but you're not sure why. It looks legible enough but when they visit the website, it is completely different. Does all of this really matter? For the reader, these subconsciously add up, especially when you are trying to develop a strong likelihood of action from this piece. If the consumer received this in the mail first, then sales rep's outfit may as well have been poor fitting and wrinkled.
As marketers, it is critical to remind ourselves that quality art direction in a profound sense, is the front line of customer impressions. Visual communication can be as much as twenty thousand times more effective than text alone. Remove quality graphic design and we miss an opportunity to compel. The customer needs a glove to catch the message. That glove is a well designed piece of collateral in which, when the potential consumer sees it, will gravitate towards it as the peaceful type invites them to read on. A sense of belonging and trust comes over them at the moment of truth, as they decide if you are for them.
Consumer sympathy and reverse engineering that moment is key. Dissect these opportunities: Where does their eye go to and what do they read first? Does it smoothly transition to the subheads gliding them into read the body copy? Most importantly, does it elicit a desired response? Provide the right information elegantly and the product will sell itself. Everything matters.