Design To The Size

One of the most important lessons I learned about design was was from a free lance job I was doing for a friend of mine. He asked me to make a yellow page ad for his chimney sweep business. Eager to “show my stuff”, I spend hours on the copy, design and came up with, what I thought was an award winning ad.

As I thought, the client loved it. The challenge came when he asked me to “make some tweaks  to have it fit into a (2.25″x4.5″), almost half the size that I had originally assumed (5″x7”). I couldn’t just shrink it…it was the wrong ratio. In addition, there was too much copy. I would have to start over…I had wasted all that time, simply because I didn’t know the output size I was designing for.

Lesson Learned…

  1. Always start your DESIGN TO fit THE final output SIZE. Or as I often say to my team, “Design to the Size.”
  2. Design around the amount of copy you have. Sometimes you can help rewrite or reword to make the text more efficient, but if you have enough text for a 8 page booklet, you can’t make it fit into the half page template you had in mind.

Here is the final design we went with. The text was a little small for my preference, but the client was happy.

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