In web design, the hero image is becoming an increasingly popular trend. Increasing numbers of websites are dominated by a single image, often even serving as background to minimalistic text above the homepage fold. Designers love their simplicity, while audiences love the visual statement made by websites that de-emphasize text.
You may wonder what a discussion about web hero images has to do with a blog concerning printed materials. But as it turns out, the same concept can easily be transferred to make your print marketing stand out. Here are 6 ways to incorporate hero images into a variety of promotional materials when printing in St. Louis.
The Business Card Cover
Business cards are, above all, functional. You need them to fulfill a very specific role, getting your contact information to potential clients or customers. But what if your competitors are doing the same thing? How do you ensure that your business card actually stands out on your audience’s desk or in their desk drawer?
Hero images can help. Rather than putting a simple graphic on the back of your business card, consider a compelling visual that relates to your business and helps attract attention to it. Alternatively, you could even use that image as a background to the front of your card, allowing it to act as a background image for your contact information.
The Brochure Centerfold
That visuals matter in brochure design is evident. If your brochure is dominated by text, it will not be attractive to audiences who are looking for a quick overview of what your brand and its products or services are about. Obviously, that means your brochure cover should include a compelling visual.
But if you truly want to incorporate a hero image, we suggest going one step further: the centerfold. It’s tempting to consider each brochure panel as a separate entity with space for its own content. But in fact, your audience will likely read the brochure with multiple panels visible at once – so why not take advantage of that fact! An image that spans your inside panels can keep your audience’s attention to maximize the effect of your brochure.
The Postcard Attention-Getter
Similar to brochures, most marketers are familiar with the importance of visuals on postcards. That the front of your postcard should include an image or illustration is nothing new to anyone who uses postcards for promotions. For the sake of this article, we suggest going one step further: consider including nothing but the visual on the front of your postcard.
On its face, this suggestion will be difficult to implement. It’s tempting to put at least your slogan or business name on the front. But in doing so, you will also immediately exclude audience members who have already formed a negative opinion about your brand. Including only an image, on the other hand, may grab their attention and flip over the card to learn more.
The Yard Sign Exception
Visuals on yard signs are a difficult proposition. Because of the speed at which your audience drives by these signs, they need to be as simple and straightforward as possible. But if you do it right, a hero image here may just work.
Consider, for example, a yard sign that simply shows your product, without additional explanation of your brand or its benefits. Not including a call to action is generally dangerous, but let’s be honest: most members of your audience would not take action while driving by the sign anyways. Showing your product can increase brand recognition and retention, which is especially effective in combination with other, more action-oriented marketing efforts.
The Picture Puzzle
Promotional products can be an effective method of marketing your small business, while simultaneously offering a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the hero-image trend. Especially if you are considering puzzles as an option, you can use a hero image to your advantage.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Puzzling is fun, but only if the end result is rewarding. No one completes a puzzle in the hopes of putting together a brand logo or slogan. A dominating image, on the other hand, provides more motivation. And if you subtly add your brand logo or slogan to the puzzle, you won’t lose the branding advantage of promotional products.
The Talk of the Table
Does your business use table talkers to raise brand and product awareness? These materials are perfect for restaurants, hotels, waiting areas, and any other type of event-based marketing that requires physical attendance. You can design your table talkers in a variety of ways, but once again, a hero image is a worthy option.
Imagine walking into a doctor’s office. The waiting area includes a single table, with a promotional tent propped up on it. If that tent includes even a paragraph of text, will you read it? Chances are you’ll turn to the stack of magazines instead. But if a compelling visual catches your eye, you might be tempted to read the minimalist text that accompanies that visual.
In short, hero images are a perfect example of effective graphic design crossing the boundaries between digital and print. Just as they have transformed an increasing number of websites, they can help your printed materials stand out among more text-heavy pieces. Whether you decide to incorporate them on your business cards of promotional products, hero images can and should be a crucial design element in your print marketing strategy.