Archive for October, 2012

From Snooze to Spotlight: How We Improved Our Marketing Flyers for a Big Conference

October 9th, 2012 by Deborah Kim

Brochures can be boring. They can be a total snooze factory, especially if they’re crammed with big empty words.

But if done right, brochures show you what’s important — fast — and then win you over. Or, at the very least, you’ll wanna find out more.

With that in mind, we wanted to refresh our old flyer before Dreamforce. (Read about our DF experience.)

Here’s what we had before:

The format is pretty simple. We’ve got five essential parts: (1) our logo, (2) a summary, (3) key features, (4) customer love, and (5) contact info.

But the flyer looks a bit… erm… generic. It’s one long, cluttered column full of small text. Our branded logo is left-and-center, but it kinda blends in with all the blues and greys. Nothing stands out too much — it’s not visually intriguing.

Also, the call-to-action is muddled. It’s not immediately clear what the reader should do. “Look for us” is hidden at the bottom of the page.

And let’s be real: no one will read your ad copy as lovingly and tenderly as you. We’re all skimmers (especially when we’re wary of sales pitches). The longer something is, the more likely you’ll skim it.

So, we realized we needed a change. Effective design is a process, after all.

We decided on some goals for the new flyers:

  • Trim the word count
  • Add variety to the layout
  • Emphasize the call-to-action
  • Add graphics
  • Make it pop (with a little color)

Then I did a quick mock-up with Google Drawings, since it’s easy to rearrange elements there:

It was certainly more interesting with the colorful blocks, but there was too much color!

Feedback from the team: Too many bits and pieces. No one will read all the text.


So I cut down the elements and moved the form examples to the left. The pricing was also bumped to the bottom, where it’d be noticeable and useful.

It looked much cleaner laid out with the three columns and the rows.

Feedback: Separate the form examples from the key benefits, since they don’t really fit.


I decided to use Google Docs for this one, because it’s easier to work with text, and because I didn’t have to rearrange stuff at this point.

Feedback: Looks good. Let’s move to a ready-to-print file.


Xin, our UI/Graphic Designer, whipped this up in Adobe Illustrator.


  • The greys feel a bit cold. The icons, too. What about different colors?
  • “Quickly Create” box might look better with rounded corners.
  • Summary at the top isn’t big enough. Needs more white space around it.
  • Bottom bar feels unbalanced. Can we even it out?


White space, check. More friendly colors, check. Large call-to-action, check. There’s balance and harmony here. It’s much more clear what benefits FormAssembly offers, with much less effort on the reader’s part.


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