How to design an industry report with real marketing power

Blog insight - How to design an industry report with real marketing power

Industry-specific reports are a hugely valuable tool in positioning your company as an expert in your sector – providing educational, informative insights to the reader in what has become known as ‘inbound’ marketing – in direct contrast to the more traditional and costly ‘outbound’ marketing method of advertising or trade shows for example. But your inbound marketing efforts are only as good as how they are presented in terms of their graphic design. Here are some suggestions:

Think visually and consider imagery

Each page should be image-led to draw the reader’s eye, with plenty of white space so the pages don’t look too crowded. Text boxes and pull-out quotes are other great design elements to accentuate key points or messages.

Consider the best type of imagery that best suits your brand. You will likely have your own definitive thoughts on this. If you are engaging an external graphic design resource, they should be able to consult with you and produce some sample ‘look-and-feel concepts, including imagery. Depending on the brand image you want to convey, hand-drawn illustrations, even when used sparingly, can instantly bring personality and a unique identity to any industry or market report.

To add texture, you could place interesting patterns, tiny geometric shapes for example – over the corners of pages, or as a creative addition to headlines for example. Another nice touch might be to have full-page designed section openers.

If you are using photographic images, high-resolution, well-composed images are essential. Your graphic designer can advise you on the resolution needed and use creative ways to edit the images to make them more interesting. But as a general rule, anything in print needs higher resolution images, whereas lower resolution, or ‘smaller-sized’ images are better for digital.

Avoid simply dropping images onto the page, however. Instead, a good graphic designer will apply a treatment to each one. Tinted overlays and/or diagonal edges can often work well.

Experiment with typography – but be consistent

Fonts offer so much creative potential. Fill an entire page with a section header for a bold and sophisticated look. Play with colour also. The first word or phrase of each new section could appear in your dominant corporate colour, for example. At the same time, keep it simple and stick to a dominant font throughout. The same with colours – stick to 2-3 maximum to keep the look-and-feel clean and consistent throughout.

Once you have come to a look-and-feel you are happy with, consider putting together a set of brand guidelines, sometimes known as a style guide, to lock in the colours, fonts, logo use and other such aspects to ensure the consistency of your brand communications moving forward.

Think about format and utilising shapes

Consider different formats you can use. A flip page format instead of a conventional PDF for example, or an interactive document that includes videos or call-to-action links.

Think about format and utilising shapes when designing an industry report - MA Technical Copywriting

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To find out more about how MA Technical Copywriting can help you write, edit and/or design your technical documents or industry reports, contact us on +44 (0) 1242 230404, or
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