When it comes to measurements, we have a tendency to speak in general terms. Bad idea in construction AND in marketing. Here’s why speaking in generalities when planning marketing projects can be disastrous.
Speak in Specifics About Ad Sizes
Take, for instance, a “full-page ad” in a printed magazine that is casually expressed as 8-1/2 X 11 inches. While that may be true sometimes, that assumption might lead to trouble downstream. The actual size for many full-page ads is actually 8-3/8 X 10-7/8 inches to accommodate for the printing press.
Agreed, that is pretty close. But the publication will have none of it because it will not fit the allotted space saved for that ad. The result? Back to the designer to have the ad resized, to the client/manager for re-approval, and uploaded to the publication – again. This equates to lost time, budget overruns, and a little embarrassment with the client.
Likewise in the electronic world. Publishers determine the banner ad sizes they feature on their websites. Assuming a previously designed Leaderboard Ad measuring 728 X 90 pixels will work for all sites is only going to lead to the frustration of resizing the ad or having it placed in the wrong size space where critical information may get clipped off. Or worse yet, the ad gets distorted horizontally or vertically to fit the space.
Avoid Print Collateral Frustrations
Electronic and print ads aren’t the only challenge to marketers. Print collateral has its own set of surprises. For example:
If you have designed the perfect 4X5 inch invitation, there is no standard envelope size that it will fit into comfortably.
A 9X12 pocket folder will not fit into a 9X12 envelope!
The United States Postal Service will not mail a 3X5 inch post card.
And that 48 foot wide billboard that was actually designed for 40 feet? Well, that’s just going to get expensive.
Start with the Basics
Brainstorming discussions at the highest level might include some measurements in general sizes. Be aware of the need to translate those into real sizes before pushing the project forward. The first question your graphic designer or art director should ask (besides “when”) is “what size”?
If you’re in charge of executing someone’s marketing dream, be sure to establish exact sizes for all of your projects in the earliest planning stages. All print and electronic publications have media guides or spec sheets available that list exact ad sizes and specifications for all ad space offered. Also, check with your printer to ensure that your specific print collateral piece fits their press. And be proactive in determining size-specific spaces and frames involved in environmental signage. Because, of course, size matters when planning marketing projects.
Plenty can go wrong in the world of marketing and advertising. Remember that the devil is in the details – especially when it comes to size. Determining your project’s specific size parameters early in the planning process will keep your project on time, on track, and on budget with fewer headaches.
Got questions? Call us at 636-227-4424 to get you started on the right track!