Absolute Blog

  • Posted 27/06/2017 by Will Nuttall

    Paper fold types – a reference guide

    As a graphic design business that specialised in brochure design, one of the conversations that we regularly find ourselves having with clients concerns the form that their printed brochure might take and how it might be folded. Fold types can be very effectively used to gain more interest, to better support the main selling proposition, or to simply sidestep the norm.

    So, to help ourselves as well as to provide a handy reference guide for our clients, we’ve gathered together a selection of the most popular fold types used for printed documents with four, six, eight, ten and sixteen pages as a convenient list for anyone considering sales leaflets, brochures, direct mailers or newsletters.

    The Half-fold, also known as the single fold or book fold, is mainly used for brochures and newsletters, and works well in both landscape and portrait formats. The most common instances are as A4 portrait brochure, opening up to a landscape A3 size, but it can be used at many varied sizes and is still most commonly seen in newspapers.

    The classic Tri-fold, also known as a letter fold, roll fold or c-fold creates a six panel format and presents a great, compact document with good surface areas both inside and out, making it easy to read and fold back together again. These are particularly effective because the three-page centrespread provides a great space with which to communicate your key messages and make serious impact. We often consider ‘the larger the better’ and these work really well at A4 portrait size (when folded), but can be commonly seen at DL size (folded) which opens out to a horizontal A4 sheet of paper. The outside right panel can often be used to great effect too with a sales proposition or conceptual focal point, or by trimming the front cover right edge to reveal some of this page, which sits beneath the cover when folded.

    Roll folds can be also be effectively used for eight, ten or more pages if desired, as can the below z fold. Having more pages enables these types of documents to carry more text or communicating info heavy designs so are perfect for promotional leaflets, programs, tutorials and step by step instruction guides.

    The Z fold, also known as a zig-zag, fan fold or accordion fold is simply a different way of scoring and folding a tri-fold. Instead of folding the third panel in from the right, it’s folded out, making a z shape with the top edge. It is commonly used for flyers, mailouts and brochures, and of course for folding letters so that they fit into a DL envelope.

    Die-cut z fold. Take the flat z fold artwork, cut a horizontal angle from left to right and then fold it together to create a document with an angled front panel which is shorter in height than the middle and back panels. Simple difference, great impact.

    The Gate fold, double fold or window fold format is perfect for graphically-heavy designs. Gate folds also create a six-panel document but, with the two outer panels being narrower than the central panel, the format presents a brilliant way to tee-up then present the message by the reader having to open up the document like a pair of saloon doors.

    Double gatefold brochures constitute four panels, so eight pages. The two ends of the sheet are folded to meet in the middle, and the document is then folded in half again. They are ideal for large presentations and for small format product sales brochures or catalogues with limited but numerous products.

    Double Parallel folded documents have four panels, which creates eight pages. Whilst they may sound confusing, the quite simply consist of an often wide and short flat rectangular sheet, which is first folded in half, and then in half once again in the same direction.

    French folds are made by folding a sheet in half vertically, and then horizontally. The two folds create eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. This enables a document which when folded is the size of a booklet or brochure, which when opened expands to a final size that feels like a poster. This format is most commonly seen with maps and charts, and can be used to great effect with newsletters or for promotional items for where many individual products or events need to be included.

    We hope that you now feel fold-enlightened but if you still have questions about a format that we haven’t explained – think origami – we’re only too happy to help, so drop us a line or call to discuss.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/08/2016 by admin

    Six tips for great website content

    Why is it important to write your copy in a specific style for websites, as opposed to print or other media? It has been shown that reading habits on screen vary greatly from reading habits off screen. People are much more task-oriented online, and read at least 25% slower on screen. It's a good idea to write about half the amount of text for a web page that you would ordinarily write for an offline document.

    Successful website copy is about keeping all your information organised in bite-sized chunks, tailoring your content to your audience, and presenting information in a way that can be easily scanned and searched.

    1. Present Information Concisely

    Visitors want information in bite-size chunks, and they want it now. Usability studies have shown that very few users (around 15%) actually read the text on a web page word-for-word. Rather, the vast majority of users scanned the content looking for keywords or phrases that either contained the information they wanted or possessed some relevance to their interest.

    Page titles and meta descriptions are used by people and search engines - make sure they are relevant and concise and help to lead the user to the information they're searching for.

    Here are some tips for keeping your content brief:

    • Write concise sentences.
    • Keep paragraphs short.
    • Use subheadings to break up content
    • Provide a summary or overview of key points for longer articles before providing the details.
    • Provide clear, concise calls to action.

    2. Use Bullet Points

    Titles and bullet points are the most-read copy on the page. Lists are preferable to paragraphs because they are easier to read and scan, and also carry an implication of succinct information. Make sure that your bullet pointed information is concise, and not just your descriptive text with bullet points applied!

    The following list shows which words tend to be read on a bullet list ("word" is read content; "ignored" is ignored content):

    • Word word word word ignored
    • Word word word ignored ignored
    • Word ignored ignored ignored ignored
    • Ignored ignored ignored ignored ignored
    • Word word ignored ignored ignored
    • It makes sense to write your bullet points then reorganise their placement according to importance.

    3. Write Search Engine Optimised Copy

    The content of your website is critical to its success on many levels; it can have an effect on your website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) rankings (Google places emphasis on sites with well-structured content). Search Engine algorithms are made up of many factors and complex calculations. Why not make the most of the one factor that you have complete control over - your content?

    Overall, good SEO copy has:

    • A minimum of 300 words per page.
    • Between 7% and 9% keywords per page.
    • One principal topic per page.
    • Links to other relevant pages on the website.
    • Succinct, page and paragraph headings that are also rich in keywords.
    • Summary bullet points.

    4. Formatting

    Keep your formatting clean and tidy. Most users want to find information succinctly and won't have time to appreciate a plethora of font styles, colours and sizes.

    • Use the same font across all pages. A web-standard sans serif font such as Arial or Verdana is easy to read and ensures that your text will be viewable across all browsers and to all users.
    • Underlined text is the standard convention to differentiate links form other text. Don't underline text if it isn't a link as this confuses and frustrates users.
    • Use bold text to highlight important words or phrases.
    • Avoid using all capital letters, even for headings - it is the web equivalent of SHOUTING!
    • If you intend to use images or graphics in the content area of your site, make sure they are of a consistent style, and do not detract from the content itself.
    • It's a good idea to ensure images are resized so that they don't increase page download times. If you want users to have an option to view a full size image, have the low resolution web version on the page, and then link that image to the higher resolution version.
    • Remember to use a caption for each image - alternative text is an important usability aspect for users who have images turned off or who are using assistive devices (such as screen readers).

    5. Provide Content For Offline Reading

    Sometimes you may have a lot of information that your users need to read in full: case studies, white papers or reports for example. Allow your users to choose whether they want to read it online or offline. Rather than uploading the content of a long document, you can create a link to the document so it can be downloaded for offline reading. PDF documents are generally accepted as the web standard - they also look more professional and Acrobat Reader is free to download. Finally, ensure the document is titled appropriately for your website (rename the working file title if required).

    6. Check Speling, Grammer And Punktuation

    A website with content that contains grammatical and spelling errors can lack credibility and doesn't cast the business in a favourable light. How thorough and focused on quality do your potential clients think you will be if you haven't taken the time to check your website copy that is made public internationally?

    For any further information or resources about content writing for the web, please contact Will Nuttall on 07 3300 0494 or solutions@absolutemedia.com.au

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/08/2016 by admin

    Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Brisbane

    Q: What use is your website if prospective customers can't find it?

    A: Nowadays, when we need a quick answer to something, more often than not we chuck the words into a search engine such as Google or Bing to see what solutions are offered.

    Every day, searches are being made for the products or services that you sell, in your area, and when they are, is your website featured in the results? If it is but it's beyond the first couple of pages, then you are missing out on potential new business.

    If you want to improve your search result position for search terms specific to your business, then you need Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it's known in Brisbane!

    Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving your website's ranking position in the organic, non-sponsored listings area of a search engine results page and when done effectively, it's like having a salesperson working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is now also considered to provide the highest return-on-investment of any kind of online marketing.

    The factors affecting a website's ranking position include its design, its content and its level of 'endorsement' by other credible websites. Whilst the concept of improving your website's position with a search engines result pages is relatively simple, it is the strategy, and the implementation of actions specific to your business to achieve this goal, which are a bit more complex.

    Absolute Media have been optimising websites for more than 10 years, which is a long time before someone invented the mouthful of a phrase that we now all know as Search Engine Optimisation. Brisbane has many 'SEO specialists' that will happily lock you into a long-term contract and charge you much more than is necessary to do a good job. But that's just not our way of doing things.

    So if you want to:

    • Increase visitor numbers to your website
    • Convert website visitors into customers
    • Grow your business online

    contact us today to organise a no obligation assessment.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/08/2016 by admin

    Absolute ‘Commended’ at the Mi Awards

    amir_khanWe are delighted to be basking in the afterglow of Absolute UK’s success this week, having received a ‘Commendation’ at the prestigious Mi Awards in the “Best Sport or Leisure Marketing Strategy” category, for their work on boxer Amir Khan’s official website.

    The Mi Awards reward and celebrate the UK’s best marketing businesses and effective strategies.

    Absolute’s award winning website for Amir Khan, the former two-time world champion and former unified WBA and IBF Light Welterweight champion, received nominations for numerous prestigious awards and was trending as ‘site of the day’ on the internationally recognised www.awwwards.com website following its launch.

    UK Managing Director Chris Hodgen explained, “Our success is actually Absolute Australia’s success too. We share developer resources on larger, more complex website development and digital projects and the team involved with Amir’s website have also worked on numerous large ecommerce websites for our Brisbane studio’s clients in recent months.”

    “Of the four nominations in the category Absolute were up against some tough competition so it is a fantastic achievement for our work to be recognised at this level.”

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/08/2016 by admin

    13 marketing ideas, lucky for you

    Unlucky for some but lucky for you, here are thirteen marketing ideas that will kick–start your customer base into action in 2013. Our print and digital design solutions will distinguish you from your competitors, deliver your key messages effectively, and convert buyer interest into sales action:

    1. Email marketing

    When it comes to digital marketing, companies now use a plethora of means with which to reach their customers – websites, social media, online advertising, e–marketing – but which one works best?

    A recent article celebrating the 30th anniversary of email states that “an overwhelming 77% of all consumers surveyed prefer to receive promotional messages from companies via email, compared to just 5% preferring text messages and 4% Facebook.”

    Do you even have an e–mail marketing program? If so how is it working for you? Having achieved read rates of more than 40% with campaigns on behalf of our clients, e–mail campaigns are proven to reach customers in a way that they like, and even more importantly they are very targetable, trackable, and measurable.

    2. MEMORABLE direct mail

    Before the internet heralded new ways to communicate with our customers, direct mail – letters, leaflets and print mailshots – was the most accurate method of letting them know what you were up to, what was being launched, were you would be exhibiting, about your special offers, what you would be up to this year, and how you could make their lives easier and businesses perform better.

    At Absolute we continue to rave about direct mail as part of the marketing mix. The downside; it takes a little more effort to organise, and its impact is less immediate. The upside; interesting and informative direct communications have a far greater shelf life. They stay on customer's desks for much, much longer, providing a constant reminder of your company, products or services for days and often weeks. They are also often conveniently filed and referred to at a later date.

    3. A website makeover

    As a provider of website solutions, we see the rapid advances in web design (I stress the word design) more than most.

    You will probably agree that it's quite easy to guess how old a website is by the look and feel of the homepage interface. What was hot two or three years ago probably now seems slightly tired, especially on iPad and tablets which hadn't even been launched.  Many people pick–up on dated web designs, mainly because they visit massively popular websites that are bang up–to–date as part of their daily lives and notice the difference. Unfortunately they also subconsciously disregard them in favour of something more current, especially when they're planning to purchase online.

    So if your site looks out of date, whether it was last updated in the nineties, noughties, or even the tensies (if indeed that's a real term yet) or if you are considering the inclusion of social media links, a shopping cart, video, optimising your site for display on an iPad or mobile device … or any other enhancements … have a look at our own website first, and then use our contact form to get in touch!

    4. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

    OK so you've got a great website, but can anyone find it when they enter search terms that are related to your products or services into Google?

    If you answered 'yes' please go straight to point five (below). If you're still reading, then the chances are that you need to improve your search engine rankings but either don't know how best to proceed, or are rightly very wary of the whole shebang because of the daily raft of emails that you receive from Mary, Rajit and Sanjay, somewhere in the Asian sub–continent.

    Absolute have been optimising websites for the best part of 12 years. Our success is demonstrable; we have numerous clients sitting on page one of Google when relevant search terms to their business and products are used. The chances are that we can get your company there too.

    5. Fresh advertisements

    The desired reaction that we all hope for when advertising – client sees ad, then phones to place a humongous sales order – seldom, if ever happens.

    The primary advantage of any form of advertising is the establishment of trust and confidence amongst your target audience. By seeing your ad whilst relaxing, because that's what we're doing when we're watching TV or reading a magazine, people have time to explore their curiosity and actually enjoy good, engaging advertisements. The time spent doing this builds awareness, breeds familiarity and sows the seed for future success when the buyer's need for your product arises. The actual impact of advertising therefore is one of longer term stability and credibility.

    When did your prospective customers last see your business and products in the press?

    6. Effective sales brochures

    Effective brochures are a compact means of advertising, allowing the delivery of detailed information, to a specific audience, in an engaging form and with the correct flow of information. They explain, they inform and they persuade. Done correctly they will translate facts and features into customer benefits and sell your products and services.

    The staying power of a great sales brochure is priceless. Well designed brochures also play a dual role; in electronic format as incentive downloads on websites and for follow ups as an email friendly pdf, and in print format as long lasting reminder and reinforcement of your company and products.

    7. Create a bit of a buzz

    The first 10 people to phone Absolute Media in response to this article will be entered into a draw to win a brand new Toy–yoda!

    If you've ever heard that story then you will know the power that competitions, special offers and incentives can create. Creating a bit of excitement is a simple yet often overlooked means of locking in buyer behaviour, generating additional revenue from a sale, and above all making your customer feel better about you for it. So why wouldn't you do it more often? Give yourselves an opportunity to shout about what you do, and above all, get noticed for it.

    8. Incentivise

    Do you set targets for your customers? Maybe you lower price units for volume purchases, provide discounts on upgrades, or free training for your top buyers?

    How about adding a bit of spark to your next incentives program and upping the feel–good factor? Have a chat with us about soft benefits, promotions, up–selling, random rewards and sweepstakes for exciting prizes, to see what 'motivation' really can do for your customer loyalty.

    9. Corporate video / youtube

    Video production was once an expensive and largely insignificant media for marketers, but with sites like YouTube and Vimeo now generating more than 3 billion video views each day, and the means to create video content on most mobile phones, things have definitely changed for the better.

    It's now so easy to review a new product in front of a camera, then put that review online, and email the link to your customers. Hey presto … an almost instantaneous, engaging audio visual presentation that you can use time and time again and even embed on your website. The same can be said for product training, simple repair procedures, 'how–to's' for installation, sales presentations and so much more. Of course it helps to make these things look at least slightly professional, and that's where we can help you.

    10. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

    If your company's organic search engine optimisation efforts aren't delivering results, PPC is an immediate way to get your site listed on page one of Google. It's also flexible, easy to manage, highly targetable, achieves results on a set and limited budget, and is quite difficult to get your head around! Call us today and we'll tell you more about what’s possible and how best to approach it.

    11. Create something unique

    All too often we receive a creative brief which goes something along the lines of 'this is what our competitors are doing, so we want to do the same'. Harrumph!

    Rule #01: To get noticed by someone who is bombarded with the same amount of promo materials that the rest of us receive on a daily basis, you have to make your message stand out for the right reasons. The chances are that your competitor's overused idea gets ignored anyway, so why would you want to emulate that?

    Find a new angle, use something newsworthy, try a different media, mix it up a bit. When you do something that is fresh, your audience takes notice and begins to associate adjectives like 'innovative', 'dynamic' and 'creative' with your company and … hey presto, you're brand building!

    12. A new target audience

    Our clients are always telling us that they should be selling more to 'such and such' a sector, or 'this particular' audience. Let us source a new mailing list on your behalf to pinpoint your targets as accurately as possible and we'll gladly help get your message to them, with impact.

    13. Mobile apps

    Mobile applications are yet another new media development proving to be a great way of building relationships and making it easier for your customers to do business with you. Once a customer has installed your app on their phone, they have a potential solution to urgent problems in their hand for most of the working day, in the shape of your contact details. Companies are starting to exploit the further capabilities of mobile applications by giving customers access to their inventories, allowing them to track support numbers, trace order shipments, provide them with accurate contact lists, and so much more. Call us today to discuss how you might use mobile applications to strengthen your customer relationships.

    So there you have it, just a handful of many marketing ideas that Absolute Media of Brisbane can bring to the party in 2013 and beyond. Ultimately a 'keep in touch' strategy is crucial to sustaining business growth. Statisticians will tell you that it take at least seven rounds of contact before a client is ready to do business, so by mixing your marketing initiatives, spicing–up your communication, and in doing so making your competitors seem boring and uncommunicative by comparison, you will soon see the benefits of a concerted investment in marketing yourselves to existing clients and new prospects.

    View the project here.
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