Designing for D Day
by Morgan Hughes
When we talk about a recent event, we tend to mention the spectacular lighting, entertainment and general setting – these are, after all, the things that make a special occasion an event. But an event’s popularity and success comes as much from its core value as it does from the effectiveness of the communication engaged prior to ‘D’ day.
In the lead-up to a fantastic event, PR agencies, Event Planners and Graphic Designers have to work closely together to make sure they are talking to the right people and talking loud enough, to promote the event to its just value. The Graphic Designer’s job is to create visual momentum, consistency and excitement in the lead-up and on the day of the event. In order to inform and engage the right audience effectively, it is crucial for the Design team to understand the event’s core purpose and target market as well as budgets and production requirements.
Here are 5 crucial things to consider when choosing a good Events Design Team:
Design is Communication
Have some brains behind the look
The Design team should have a history of creating clever Design, that is, design that communicates a clear message using relevant and aesthetically sound visuals. This has to reflect in the Design team’s portfolio. Also take some time to think about the different type of communications that have to be designed and whether one person can do it all – you may need an Electronic Direct Mail (and management of contact lists etc), a micro-site, electronic tickets and then printed tickets, invitations, some signage, lanyards, table numbers… yep, the list grows quickly when you start thinking about all the different options available to 1. communicate to you guests and 2. make sure there are visual aids on the day. With a mix of electronic and print, you may need to look into outsourcing to a professional agency who has the right mix of staff or you may need to hire several people to complete these jobs (a web designer, a graphic designer, a printer). I would recommend going to a team of professionals if you have a mix of collateral – better to give this to people who know their tasks and how to work together.
Close collaboration is key
Become one with your printer
Having an in-house design team is a clear advantage especially in the case of event planning: the production of tickets, promotional communications, on-the-day visuals has to be timed appropriately with extra room for revisions, approvals/reviews and printing to be allocated in the planning. All of this has to be closely coordinated with the event planning team.
Stay calm & drink coffee
Gantt charts are necessary in Event planning and with Design, several considerations have to be made in regards to timing:
- The purpose of the communication and its timing requirements in regards to the event (i.e promotional material first, on-the-day collateral closer to the day to allow for last-minute changes)
- The time required for design
- Enough time for reviews and approval (by the event team and client, sponsors)
- Enough time for corrections
- Time for printing production (arranged with printer)
Did someone say Budget?
When in doubt refer to budget
It is crucial for the design team to consider the client’s allocated design budget when creating collateral and planning for print/production. The time to produce the required collateral has to be thought of along with the conceptual design. Choices of design, stock and finishes will also affect the final budget and the designer must be able to achieve a fine balance in order to deliver the best value for the client.
Consistency is necessary
Same but different
Once the initial design concept is approved, the design team should be able to keep the designs consistent from the promotional phase to the event day. This means the visuals, fonts and general style of the communications and collateral should be respected throughout whilst being creative enough to re-use the branding elements appropriately for the given communication purpose.
By Morgan Hughes – Perfect Events Design
Morgan has joined Perfect Events in early 2016 with a solid background in Graphic Design and Advertising. She is the head designer of Perfect Events Design and is responsible for coordinating design for Perfect Events collateral.