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- Use just your logo.
- Don’t use stock photos.
- Information is great. Too much information is harmful.
- Use the colors you want to use for your brand.
- Keep your branding consistent.
Want to buy custom folders for your business? That’s great; pocket folders can play an integral role in your business’ branding and marketing strategies.
But if you’ve never designed folders before, there might be that one nagging thought in your mind: how to design presentation folders that convey your branding.
We’ve been helping business owners and organization leaders design custom presentation folders since 2009, so we have a lot of experience helping people create the pocket folder design they envision.
Need some help with your branded folder design? Read these four practical tips—and real-use scenarios—on how to design presentation folders.
But first, a word of advice: Don’t be afraid to be an anomaly in your marketplace.
This requires a little research, but find out what everyone else in your niche is doing with their visual branding and… don’t follow suit.
Have you ever opened your mailbox to find a dentist flyer that looks something like one of these?
Kind of boring, right? Let’s look at what you could do to stand out from these designs.
1. Use just your logo.
Ever feel like trying to get noticed by your target audience is like trying to yell at someone on the other side of Solider Field? Apologies if you’re not a Chicago Bears fan. Branding design can often feel like that.
We see a lot of marketing folders that are jam-packed with visual branding, images, and information; the folders were designed to fit as much as possible into the space available.
Truth be told, they’re kind of an eyesore.
The ones that often stand out among the pile of marketing flyers, branded folders, and promotional materials is the one that use just the logo—and not much else. They are the ones that use white space to let their branding “breathe.”
2. Don’t use stock photos.
Realistically, your target audience won’t care if you just use photos that you took on your phone. If you want to increase consumer confidence through design, use authentic, real photos. This could be pictures of the business founders, company staff, or your product or service in action.
This folder we made for CrossFit Max Effort (they designed it; Style XZ Mini Folder) is the perfect example of using pictures in a presentation folder design. This is a real, genuine, authentic photo of their customers—and it shows what their service can do for you.
3. Information is great. Too much information is harmful.
We see a lot of folder designs that include juuust enough information about the product or service to intrigue the end-user. These types of designs are great for two main reasons:
- Small bits of information don’t clutter up the visual design. If you are designing a letter-sized pocket folder, don’t fill the entire 9″ x 12″ back cover with text. As much as you might want to share your full story with them, save it for brochures or pamphlets inside the folder, or add a custom URL to direct them to your website.
- Less is more… intriguing. Minimalism is a popular trend, and it stretches further than just a minimalist lifestyle. Less stuff in a pocket folder design gives consumers more time to really think about your message. Just like leaving white space around your logo is important, white space around informational bits let the user focus more intently in the message you are trying to convey.
Not sure what kind of business info to include in your presentation folder design? Choose one or two subjects from this list, and keep it to under three sentences or five bullet points.
- List of services
- Company history
- Customer testimonials or success stories
- Organization mission
- What your product or service can do for the consumer
- Business or product reviews
- Statistics–present in graphs or charts for better visual appeal
4. Use the colors you want to use for your brand.
If you are a dentist office manager, and you’ve already established that your brand color palette is centered around the color blue, that’s fine. But if you want purple and gold, go for it.
There’s no governing brand council that says you must abide by what’s popular or standard in your niche. Though there is evidence that color affects emotions and consumer buying habits, you can safely take that advice with a grain of salt.
5. Above all, keep your branding consistent.
We’re going to go a little off-topic for a bit here. Bear with us; there is a good point being made here:
Take a look at your wardrobe. We’re willing to bet that—while your closet might not be quite as monotonous as Mark Zuckerberg’s—your clothes look visually similar or give off the same “vibe.”
If your wardrobe is full of bright neon t-shirts and ripped jeans, and that’s all you wore everyday, people would know how to find you. If, however, one day you wore an earthy, forest green button up shirt with khakis, one of two things could happen:
- People would be looking for the neon-clad you. Not seeing the neon, they completely look over you, since you are dressed in different attire.
- People would be looking for the neon-clad-you. If there isn’t too much other visual “noise” around, they could still see you, despite the wardrobe change. But you’re making them work harder to find you, since you are not dressed as they expect you to be dressed.
In both of these scenarios, what you’re doing is throwing off their perception of you. Inconsistent visual branding is very similar to this wardrobe snafu.
You might find yourself asking: is it bad to shake things up every now and then? No, not always. In fact, sometimes a little visual branding shakeup can be a good thing, to make sure your audience is still paying attention to you.
When it comes to designing custom presentation folders, brand consistency is key.
Pocket folders are often either part of the first impression, or they’re part of the sales-clinching toolkit. These can be pivotal points in the sales process, so it’s best to present your visual branding as usual.
Visual brand consistency is important because consumers shouldn’t have to work that hard to see your brand’s image or hear your message.
Read more presentation folder design tips
Still a little unsure on how to design presentation folders? We’ve compiled a big list of pocket folder design tips that’s full of design ideas, sample layouts, imprint suggestions, paper stock recommendations, and more.
Or, give our customer service team a call at (800) 346-3063 or send us your ideas.
Whatever you envision, we can make it happen.
Let’s make your folders.