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Finally, a book that brings the principles of graphic design to non-designers. If your job includes producing online and print marketing materials, Web Design & Desktop Publishing For Dummies provides the basic information you need to create professional-looking documents. The easy-to-follow format helps editors and entrepreneurs alike create attractive, effective Web sites, brochures, newsletters, ads, and more in no time. Design consultant Roger C. Parker demystifies the design process and demonstrates that...
Finally, a book that brings the principles of graphic design to non-designers. If your job includes producing online and print marketing materials, Web Design & Desktop Publishing For Dummies provides the basic information you need to create professional-looking documents. The easy-to-follow format helps editors and entrepreneurs alike create attractive, effective Web sites, brochures, newsletters, ads, and more in no time. Design consultant Roger C. Parker demystifies the design process and demonstrates that "if you can think, you can design."
Inside, find helpful advice on how to
- Web Publishing Enters the Mix
Who Do I Think You Are?
How This Book Is Organized
Icons Used in This Book
The More Things Change...
- Chapter 1: The Dollars and Sense of Good Design
What Is Design?
- Six steps to success
- How Design Adds Value to Your Ideas
- Design attracts attention
Design adds value to your message
Design enhances readership
Design provides selective emphasis
Design provides organization
Design provides unity
Design helps set your message apart
Design speeds production
Design saves money
Design, income, and job security
Design and personal satisfaction
- Chapter 2: The Universal Tools of Design
Give me Space
- Printed space
- What Type Are You?
- Printed color
Color on the Web
- Visuals: Those Thousand-Word Pictures
- Graphic accents
Computer Hardware: What Do You Need?
Other useful hardware devices
Storage and backup devices
Scanners and digital cameras
- Software: Putting Words and Pictures Together
- Word processing programs
Page layout and Web authoring programs
Image editors: Give Grandma a beard!
Extra added attractions
Service bureaus and commercial printers
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Keep on Moving and Grooving
Chapter 3: Web versus Print Publishing: A New War of the Worlds?
Web versus Print -- Which Is Better?
- Advantages of traditional media
Disadvantages of print
Advantages of the Web
Disadvantages of Web communications
- Choosing Print or Web
- The "purchase" or decision-making cycle
Who and where is your audience?
Amount of information
- Media and the Perception of Your Message
- When the Web works best
The role of e-mail
- Chapter 4: Image-ination
Projecting an Appropriate Image
- Creating the right image
Analyzing your image
- Repurposing Your Message
- Paper-design on the Web
The Web-document look
Mastering file management
- Chapter 5: Web Site Realities
Weaving Your Way onto the Web
Choosing Web Publishing Software
- HTML (or not)
Code Shy versus Code Savvy
Word processing programs
Entry-level Web layout packages
Web site management packages
Page layout programs
- Six Steps to a Winning Web Site
- Planning your site
Creating your site
Testing the links
Promoting your site
- Chapter 6: The Architecture of Web Design
Getting Your Blocks in Order
Avoid centered headlines
Avoid ALL-UPPER-CASE heads
Links and navigation tools
Feedback and response
- Basic Web Design Principles
- Think small
Avoid snaking columns
- In Control versus Out of Control
- It all depends on your point of view
Text in graphic form gives more control
- Chapter 7: Making a Splash with Your Home Page
What to Include on Your Home Page
Counters and "last updated" information
The pros and cons of image maps
Advantages of image maps
Disadvantages of image maps
- Splash Page versus Home Page
Chapter 8: Building Continuity and Change into Your Web Site
Elements of Consistency
Consistent placement of logo and navigation links
Theme, title, and department heads
- Building in Variety
- Color coding your Web site
Varying column width and placement
- Repeating the Standard
- Chapter 9: The Basics of Effective Print Design
Elements of Print Page Architecture
- Headers (and footers)
Logos and titles
Visuals and captions
Footnotes and endnotes
- Elements of Page Layout
- White space: Your secret weapon
- Type: The Medium for Your Message
Letter, line, and paragraph spacing
- Your Image in Print
Chapter 10: Newsletters: Up Close and Personal
It's All a Matter of Timing
The Parts of a Newsletter
Table of contents
Regular columns or department heads
Kickers and blurbs
Jump lines and article jumps
Address label area
- Choosing a Grid for Your Newsletter
- Choosing the right column layout
Making the right typeface decisions
- Managing Cost- and Time-Effective Production
Defining Your Newsletter
- What will be in each issue?
How many pages in each issue?
Will the layout be horizontal or vertical?
- Planning Precedes Production
Assigning articles and authors
- Fine-Tuning Your Newsletter
- Rewriting headlines
Managing widows, orphans, and line breaks
Dealing with too much text
Dealing with too little text
- Simplify and add typographic contrast to nameplates
Adopt a consistent headline style
Unify subhead and headline text
Reduce paragraph spacing
Adjust type size and line spacing of body copy
Eliminate unnecessary text wraps
Eliminate unnecessary graphic accents
Organize the table of contents
Chapter 11: Brochures and Ads that Tell and Sell
Choosing the Right Format
Planning Your Panels
- Front panel
Inside front panel
Outside back panel
- Saving Money on Brochures
Three Easy Ways to Create Better-Looking Brochures
- Use bleeds
Add white space
- Creating Awesome Advertisements
Chapter 12: Proposals, Reports, and All Those Forms
Making the Most of Your Word Processor
- Adjusting margins to shorten line length
Fine-tuning line spacing
Manipulating letter spacing
Adding contrasting subheads
Working with headers and footers
Adding introductions, conclusions, and summaries
Adding covers and separator pages
- Problems with Forms and Applications
- Room to write
Meaningful headings and space for details
- Problems with Instructional Materials
Chapter 13: The Impact of Paper, Ink, and Folds
Important Paper Characteristics
- Size: From start to finish
Color: Setting the stage
Texture: The feel of it all
Coating: A well for ink
Weight: A matter of substance
Bulk: Size without weight
Stiffness: Standing straight
Opacity: Can you see through it?
Grain direction: Go with the flow
Availability: Can you get it for me Tuesday?
- Do Not Fold or Spindle -- Unless You Read This First
- Designing with Ink
- Making your photographs pop!
Adding emphasis to photographs
- Combining Techniques
- Chapter 14: Communicating Business Information Visually
Is My Table Ready?
- Deciding on software
Setting up information
Adding titles and captions
Formatting tables attractively
- Using Charts and Graphs
- Organization charts show responsibility
Communicating time and sequence
- Improving Your Business Graphics
Chapter 15: Using Color on the Web
How to Analyze Web Color
- What to look for when visiting Web sites
Working with a screen capture program
- Working with Web Color
- Exercise restraint
Choose the right colors
Limit yourself to a few signature colors
Be selective about background colors
Reduce the color depth of imported graphics
- Choosing the Right Colors for Your Web Site
- Working with default colors
Creating a custom palette
Importing or creating your own custom backgrounds
- Selecting Colors for Your Web Site
- Selecting colors for text
Choosing the right background colors
Choosing palette-related colors
Choosing colors for navigation links
- Chapter 16: Making Printed Color Count
Color with a Purpose
Be Cautious with Color
Saving Money while Using Color
- Using preprinted colored paper
Creating your own preprinted papers
Printing on colored paper
Forming 'colors' with black and white
Mixing and overprinting
- Spot Color versus Four-Color Process Color
- Spot color
Combining spot and process colors
- Design Considerations
Choosing the Right Colors
- Colors and backgrounds
Color and photographs
Saving color palettes
- Chapter 17: Wild Things You Can Do on the Web -- but Should You?
Add Movement and Sound to Your Web Site
- Use Frames for Better Navigation
Gain More Control Over Type
Assure Absolute Font and Formatting Fidelity with Acrobat
Use Forms to Encourage Visitor Feedback
Other Web Presentation Media
Chapter 18: Choosing and Using Visuals Online and Off
Photographs: The Real Thing
Illustrations: Style in Strokes
- Image Quality, Resolution, and Copyright Issues
Manipulating lighting and color balance
Retouching (out with the telephone poles)
Other special effects
- Placing Visuals in Print
Facing into the page
- Placing Visuals on the Web
Chapter 19: Typographic Refinements Online and Onscreen
How to Look at Type
- The PANOSE principle
Baseline, x-height, ascenders, descenders, and other type characteristics
Decorative and script typefaces
- Building a Workable Typeface Collection
Some Factors of Type in Print
- Special characters
Using the right punctuation
Space and graphic accents
- Character Manipulation
Making the Most of Online Type
Which Type Format Should I Use?
- Type1 fonts
- Efficiency and Consistency: Using Styles
- What are styles?
How to save time applying styles
- Chapter 20: Ten Web Tools Worth Trying
Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Speed Your Layout and Production
Always Use Text Styles
Automate Your Styles
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Make Friends with Templates
Customize Your Toolbar
Remember the Paragraph Dialog Box
Use the Pasteboard
Use Your Word Processor
Chapter 22: Ten Design Truths You Shouldn't Ignore
Respect People's Time
Keep Your Audience in Mind
Let Your Message Determine the Layout
Never Forget Your Competition
Emphasize Only the Important
Keep Out Clutter
Always Provide a Clear Call to Action
Repetition Leads to Acceptance
Chapter 23: Ten Design Mistakes You'll Never Make
Wimpy, Floating Initial Caps
Long Lines of Small Text
Two Spaces Between Sentences
Obscure Headlines and Subheads
Sans Serif Type for Extended Reading
Automatic Line Spacing (Leading)
Kerned Headlines and Titles
In This Chapter
With the current explosion of interest in the Internet, you may be tempted to focus on the Internet and neglect or eliminate use of traditional media, such as print and broadcasting. An effective marketing program must be based on the needs of your audience and your message, which most often requires a combination of new (online) and traditional (on-paper and over-the-airwaves) media. This approach means carefully balancing your time, budget, and staff resources and working hard to plan and implement a communications program that publishes both print and Web materials for your audience.
Contrary to what you may hear, no conflict exists between Web and traditional print media as far as their importance to your business or personal goals are concerned. Both have a place. Putting all your eggs in a Web basket is as inadvisable as spending all your advertising money in the newspaper and omitting customer follow-up or vice versa. You need traditional print media as well as the Web to succeed -- now and in the foreseeable future.
Table 3-1 lists some of the major differences between print and Web publishing, which I discuss in the sections that follow.
Table 3-1 Characteristics of Print versus Web Communications
|Yes, brochures and newsletters can be saved, shared, and reread.||No, except pages that are printed.|
|Expensive. Each photograph usually increases preparation and printing costs.||Free. No penalty (except downloading time).|
|Expensive. Color printing greatly increases project cost.||Free. Use as much as you want.|
Amount of information
|Limited by type size and size and number of pages. Additional pages cost more to print and to mail.||Unlimited. Web sites can be as large as needed without greatly increasing costs.|
|None. Once it's printed, it can't be changed. Printing additional copies can be expensive if you run out.||Total. Web sites can be updated in minutes without charge.|
|High. Costs increase as you print and mail additional copies.||Low, usually just monthly cost of maintaining site at Internet Service Provider (typically $30$100).|
|High. Can be read when and where readers want. Low eye fatigue when correct paper and typeface choices are made.||Low. Reading information on screen can be very fatiguing because of brightness of projected light and relative coarseness of text.|
Control over appearance
|Total. You choose the size, texture, and color of the paper on which your message is printed. You also enjoy total control over the typeface, type size, and line spacing of your document.||Very little (but growing). Visitors to your Web site use screens of different sizes and colorcasts (influenced by room lighting). Visitors can usually control the typeface and type size used to communicate your message.|
Control over distribution
|Total. Hand or deliver your message only to those whom you want to receive it.||Very little. You can't force people to visit your Web site.|
Not everyone is Internet savvy, and not everybody wants to be. Omitting print media from your marketing program is likely to cut off a significant portion of your audience.
Traditional media refers to ads, brochures, flyers, newsletters, proposals, and support materials (such as applications and instructions) printed on paper. The primary advantages of paper-based media are familiarity, tangibility, and availability.
If your publication contains meaningful information and is easy to read, the brochure that you handed out last month or the newsletter that you mailed two months ago may still be in your audience's hands. People can reread it at their leisure, referring to important details. They can read and discuss the material at home, at work, at the beach, or in their dentist's waiting room.
Print is also a very focused medium. You can identify your various audiences, such as your best customers and prospects, and you can efficiently target your message to them. There's little waste circulation. You can deliver your brochures only to those who are interested in your product or service and who have visited your place of business. Mail the right message to the right 100 people, and you're likely to sell your product or service to a significant number of them.
No medium is perfect. Print suffers from high preparation and delivery costs -- costs that inevitably increase over time. For example:
Getting your message printed also takes more time than showing it on the Web. Imaging and outputting computer files, creating negatives for the printing press, running the presses, applying address labels, and delivering your publication all take time. Experienced newsletter editors routinely work 90 days ahead of the time they want their readers to read their message -- and even that schedule is cutting it close.
By way of contrast, the Web site you created this afternoon, or updated this evening, can be updated in minutes!
In addition, print is a "fixed" medium; you do not have unlimited space. A direct correlation exists between the number of words in a printed communication and the number of pages required. When brochure or newsletter space runs short, you must reduce the amount of information you communicate or add pages. And you can't just add a page or two as needed; in most cases, you must add a group of 4, 8, or 16 pages (called a signature). Adding pages not only increases your printing costs, it also increases your distribution costs. More pages mean bigger envelopes and higher postal rates.
Make a typographical error in a brochure or newsletter, and you must live with it until you reprint your brochure or until the next issue of the newsletter appears. Compare this situation to the Web, where the material that you decide to correct at midnight is posted and available to readers at 12:01 a.m.
The chief advantages of the World Wide Web are timeliness and interactivity. Unlike print, you can update your Web page almost instantaneously. As information changes or new products and services are added, you can replace the old with the new that same day -- maybe even that same minute -- with no cost.
And you can include a link that lets your readers or customers send you their thoughts as they access your site. You can use your site for sales and marketing, for surveys and promotions, for customer service -- all instantaneously without extra charge.
In addition, the World Wide Web is a highly visual medium that enables you to get the full power of images and color instantly and cheaply. The extra cost of color in print means that the tremendous emotional power of printed color is simply beyond the reach of many firms and organizations. Color is integral to the Web, however, and if you can put up a Web site, you can get the full power of color at no extra charge.
Using photographs is another added expense when producing print documents, especially color photographs. On the Web, however, the only expense is in the time it takes your audience to download the photograph. You can include as many photographs as you like and make them as large as you like (within reason, however, as Chapter 19 points out).
You can add sound and animation to your Web site, and readers can control the flow of information by clicking on links. You can layer your message and vary its treatment depending on the character and depth of the information presented.
Information density, or the amount of information you can deliver in a communication, also differs between print and Web documents. Unlike printed publications, which have limited space, Web space is relatively free. Within reason, you can add as many pages to a Web document as needed because your document only exists as a computer file. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide 5 or 10 megabytes of space, enough for at least 50 to 100 pages of text and graphics; as long as you're below their maximum size permitted at a given price level, they don't care if you come in with 18 pages or 80 pages.
The primary disadvantage of Web communications is that not everybody has access to them. Not everyone is computer literate -- or wants to be. So if you concentrate too much of your communication efforts on the Web, you may miss out on a lot of people who would find your message appealing. Other problems include:
Lurking in the background is the problem of Web capacity. Although the infrastructure of the Web seems to be holding up well, the chance always exists that the system will become overloaded when everyone tries to access the Web at once, say to proclaim Elvis Day. Sporadic outages do occur, and at certain times of the day -- typically, in the early evening -- getting online is difficult due to heavy traffic. If you rely solely on the Web to get the word out, you're putting yourself at the mercy of your local ISP or online service.
Another problem concerns on-screen reading. The ugly truth is that, given a choice between reading words printed on paper or words projected on-screen, few people choose the on-screen option (though many will print out your message with the intent of reading it later on good-old-fashioned paper). Computer screen text is simply not as sharp as printed text. Reading text on a monitor is just not fun, and it's more visually tiring because you're looking at words and images created by light projected at your eyes rather than words and images created by light reflecting off paper. On-screen reading is sort of like looking into the lens of a slide projector.
Navigation -- the act of getting from one page to another -- is also more difficult on the Web. Instead of simply turning a page, Web readers must read with the mouse in hand to click or scroll their way through a document. This further stresses the already overworked wrists of most computer users.
Finally, no central Yellow Pages directory is available for the Web. Although you can register your Web site with the various Web search services (for example, Yahoo! and AltaVista) that are used to find sites that deal with specific information, you have no guarantee that your target audience will be able to locate your Web site when necessary -- or will even know about it without some printed or broadcast communication that includes your site name. That's why your choice of domain address, also known as a URL or Uniform Resource Locator, is crucial to making it easy for prospective readers to locate and remember your Web site (see Chapter 5).
Both traditional and Web publishing succeed to the extent that they reflect the following characteristics:
These issues are closely related, as described throughout this book. So how do you know whether to deliver your message in print or on the Web? Before you can make a decision, you must answer the following questions:
The following sections cover these points in more detail.
Your choice between print and online communications should begin with an analysis of where your customer or prospect is in the purchase cycle -- a cycle that begins with "I think it would be fun to drive a Jaguar!" and continues to "Should I buy from Jones Motors or Jaguar City?"
For many organizations, the Web serves best as an introduction to your business or service. It enables you to presell your competence, your selection, and your approach to doing business to prospects you've never met. The Web requires very little investment by anyone; you don't have to spend money printing and mailing a brochure to strangers, and strangers don't have to invest in gasoline and automobile wear and tear visiting you, only to find that you're not right for them. At low cost, you can communicate a lot of information, and prospects can check you out, without commitment, from the privacy of their home or office.
As decision-making approaches, however, print communications become more important. Print communications are tangible; people can read, reread, and analyze your arguments and share them with others.
The number and location of your audience should also play a role in whether you use print or Web communications. Are they in your same city or in another country? Are they likely to have computers and be Internet-savvy? Are they in big cities or small towns?
You should also consider the degree of involvement that you want to have with your customers (which is often a factor of the price of the product or service you're selling) -- do you want to call them by their first names? Will you see them again -- or ever? If you want to sell many relatively low-priced items to strangers who may or may not buy again from you, for example, using the Web makes a lot of sense because it requires less personal attention.
Print often works better when you're selling a relatively expensive, high-margin, personalized service to a smaller universe of buyers. In that case, sending a newsletter to maintain your visibility with your target market makes sense. Communicating health issues where you want to develop a trust relationship with your audience is an example of public service information that works well in a print format.
Consider two examples at opposite sides of the spectrum: a financial analyst selling investment services to millionaires versus a business informing employees about changes in how to file for health care benefits:
The amount of information to be communicated is also a factor when deciding whether to use printed material or the Web. Printing and distribution costs for paper-based messages quickly rise as the amount of information increases. Each page costs more money, especially because pages are usually available only in signatures of four.
Yet, on the Web, you can communicate as much information as necessary to "sell" your message without incurring additional printing or distribution costs. This advantage makes the Web a cost-effective media for communicating complicated ideas to broad audiences, without concern for the "waste" circulation of those unlikely to be interested.
The Web is ideal for communicating late-breaking news. Like radio and television, the Web is a "plastic" medium in a constant state of flux. It takes just seconds to revise a file and post updated information on the Web.
This feature contrasts with printed publications, which are set in stone once they've been printed. Print a catalog, and you have to live with those prices until your inventory and prices are so out-of-date that you're forced to print a new catalog.
But the Web permits you to communicate in near real time with your audience. For example, the Washington State Department of Transportation has cameras along the interstate highways in Seattle. From anywhere in the country, you can use your computer to visually check out traffic conditions that are only one-minute old by clicking on the camera of your choice. This provides far more information than going to a local newsstand and buying a newspaper which couldn't possibly have information about road conditions that haven't occurred yet! (You can check out the current Seattle traffic conditions
Deciding whether to publish on paper or on the Web is not an either/or situation. Both Web and print have their place. Your job is simply to choose the right medium at the right time, choosing a medium appropriate for your market, the length of your message, and the timeliness of the information.
Table 3-2 provides a quick comparison of the best uses for print and online communications.
Table 3-2 Choosing between Print and Web Publishing
|Immediate; low cost; lots of information and color.||Potential difficulty ensuring that prospects will visit your sites.|
|Tangible, relatively low cost; hard to overlook; project an "editorial" as opposed to an "advertising" look; two- or three-month shelf life.||Relatively long lead times for production, printing, and mailing.|
|Long shelf life; good for communicating unchanging information.||Long lead times for production, printing, and mailing; inflexible, hard to build in immediate incentives to act; usually requires quality production to be cost-effective.|
|Tangible; permit active buyers to comparison shop your business with others.||Clutter; it's hard to make your ad stand out; even small ads can be expensive; little room to communicate much information.|
Proposals and reports
|Targeted to active buyers at decision making time; can be revised at the last minute.||Size, paper, and color options are limited -- stores don't carry nearly the selection of papers that commercial printers carry; slow to print in quantity, especially when using color inkjet printers.|
Back-up materials (instructions, applications, and so on)
|Reach very important people at relatively low cost (employees and customers who create future business through referrals). Every form and memo communicates an image of the firm, enhancing its credibility or silently communicating a "you don't count" message.||Often viewed as "overhead expense" rather than marketing opportunity; no direct and immediate relation to new business.|
A great deal of your success in communicating with various audiences, including customers and prospects, is based on their frame of mind when they encounter your message. Here are a few observations on this topic:
In short, print communications work best when your market is presold and when quality, image, and the ability to direct your message to a few key prospects are more important than timliness and the amount of information you want to communicate.
For most businesses, the Web works best for preselling customers and prospects. The Web is ideal as a low-cost way of introducing yourself and establishing your competence and professionalism to large audiences that you may not otherwise be able to reach. The Web provides an excellent introductory medium because you can communicate in color and employ photographs as well as sound and movement. Here are examples of business uses for the Web:
The Web also can help businesses and organizations maintain close links with customers and others by offering a low-cost, basically free way of instantaneously communicating the latest information. Businesses can post their latest inventory and prices on the Web and include enough information so that visitors to the site can judge for themselves the product specifications or your qualifications; they may also see recommendations from past customers if your site has a forum for that information.
E-mail should play a major role in your marketing efforts.
Consider e-mail the glue that ties print and the Web together -- your Web site should provide you with the names and mailing addresses of prospects who want follow-up print communications (such as brochures, proposals, and detailed information). Your Web site should include frequent e-mail links to you, making it easy for Web site visitors to establish a dialog with you so that you can better identify their needs and consider how you can best satisfy those needs.
Forms, described in Chapter 17, make it easy for Web site visitors to indicate their concerns and describe the products or services they're interested in. By analyzing the forms your Web site generates, you can identify patterns of interest as well as fine-tune your Web site's content.
E-mail helps you identify your prospects and establish close relationships with them -- relationships that you can follow up by using traditional print media as you deepen the relationship.