design for differentiation: the importance of design in asset management marketing

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Post on 17-Aug-2014



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How to Build your Asset Management Brand through Beautiful Visual Design. Download the free white paper from


  • BUILD YOUR BRAND VISUALLY Your brand exists to build a bridge between you and your clients. Its there to tell them who you are, why they should trust you and what they can expect from your products and services. Its there to reinforce your relationship and inspire loyalty even brand love. Effectively translating the essence of your brand into a visual display of information can be the start of a beautiful relationship, so here are our no-nonsense, step-by-step tips for improving your visual design.
  • 1. GET THE BASICS RIGHT COLOR: BRANDING Refer to your brand guidelines document regularly If you dont have one, get it done it should contain all the colors you should be using Designers often create a primary/ secondary color paletteapply to charts and objects where multiple colors are required.
  • 1. GET THE BASICS RIGHT COLOR: USE TOOLS Creating color schemes from scratch? Try Adobe Kuler, colorschemedesigner, COLOURlovers, or ColorBlender Start with 2 or 3 main colors, then add shades of those colors and neutral tones Avoid adding extra colors randomly as this will dilute the brand and visual appeal Pantone RGB HEX Pantone Cool Gray 9 R116, G118, B121 #747679 Pantone 534 Dark Blue R41, G62, B107 #293e6b Orange 021 R255, G82, B0 #ff5200
  • 1. GET THE BASICS RIGHT COLOR: PRINT OR DIGITAL? Are you producing something that will be printed or is it for onscreen use? Your brand guidelines should provide CMYK / RGB / Pantone and HEX values get the colors right for the relevant medium CMYK: C = 69% M = 14% Y = 0% K = 0% RGB: R = 41 G = 171 B = 226 Web: #20adda CMYK: C = 1% M = 98% Y = 97% K = 0% RGB: R = 234 G = 34 B = 39 Web: #e8232a CMYK: C = 84% M = 9% Y = 99% K = 1% RGB: R = 6 G = 161 B = 75 Web: #189b4d
  • 1. GET THE BASICS RIGHT COLOR: MONO VS. COLOR What does your color scheme look like in black and white? Can your reader tell the difference in mono? Websites can have printer-friendly style sheets (via CSS) PDFs dont have that luxury test your contrast and tints so that multi-colored charts print well in monochrome (grayscale)
  • 2. ORGANIZE YOUR LAYOUT LAYOUT: USE GRIDS In print or online media, layout grids can help you organize the elements on the page in a clear and consistent way Web applications such as Adobe Dreamweaver come with built-in tools to assist with responsive layout grids See using layout grids effectively
  • 2. ORGANIZE YOUR LAYOUT LAYOUT: TEMPLATES Without templates there is no consistency or visual harmony across content. Most websites are template-driven for easy manipulation and scaling DTP master pages can control both the layout and the content styling 1 2 3
  • 2. ORGANIZE YOUR LAYOUT LAYOUT: RULE OF THIRDS The rule of thirds is a design concept that is applied to many things: photography, film, painting and graphic design There are 4 focus points where the lines intersect the most important content should reside not in the center but along these lines or points (often in the top or bottom third)
  • 2. ORGANIZE YOUR LAYOUT LAYOUT: WHITE SPACE Avoid horizontal rules and divider lines use negative space to divide content A List Apart demonstrates the idea of the same content in two designs, but with different treatments of space: cheap direct mail design on the left versus Luxury brand design on the right. Source: A List Apart, 2007
  • 2. ORGANIZE YOUR LAYOUT LAYOUT: GROUP CONTENT Group related content together Users get accustomed to seeing content in consistent chunks Speed up information absorption Block out less relevant content
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY TYPE: FONTS Use the right font for the job Brand guidelines come first Use only two or three fonts In print or online, style sheets should be applied for consistent headings, body, asides, block quotes and captions
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY TYPE: LEADING Leading, AKA line spacing provides adequate space between text Basic guide: leading should be 23 pts greater than the font size (ex: 12pt text may have 15pt leading)
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY TYPE: ORPHANS & WIDOWS Words/phrases that become separated from a paragraph make your text difficult to read Hard to avoid in websites but easily dealt with using DTP style sheets
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY TYPE: HIGHLIGHTING Use color or font styling to add emphasis to any key words or sentences Avoid underlining Be consistent if you choose italics then stick to that style across the board
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: PIES LIE Choose the right tool for the job Pie charts can be misleading can a bar chart give a more clear picture for your readers?
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: 3D MADNESS Avoid 3D effects and quick styles unless theres a real need for them Focus on the key data and message that you want to get across
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: MULTIPLE CHARTS If your chart contains lots of data, consider breaking one big chart into many smaller ones you may find it easier to see the results and compare data
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: LABELS Add concise labels to your chart to let the reader know what point youre making Embed labels on or near the data if possible, not in a separate legend If your chart represents an update to a series of data, highlight the area you want to focus on
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: DE-CLUTTER Do you really need all those axis points, grid lines, and legends? Remove unnecessary items in your chart for a cleaner look Always simplify and the important data will shine through
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY CHARTS: NO CHART Consider not even using a chart If the data you show is relatively simple, maybe some one stats or a simple text and a visual icon does a better job A table may demonstrate the data more effectively SOURCE:
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: MESSAGE 1. Remember the message your data table is trying to get acrossdoes the table convey the key info? 2. If the table is a regular monthly update then consider highlighting the column/row/data that you want to draw attention to
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: COLUMNS Keep table columns to a minimum Complex Excel data may not translate well to a PDF or web pagewidth is the limitation in both cases Consider omitting columns and using a summary
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: CONTRAST Contrast is a simple way to make tabular info clearer to the reader Try alternating background tints in rows and/or columns Apply stronger contrast to table headers and footers SOURCE:
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: FIGURES If your table contains numerical data consider rounding the numbers down to one or two decimal places Shorter numbers are easier on the eye and use less space SOURCE:
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: FONTS Some fonts dont display numbers well with characters having varying baseline settings (e.g. Georgia) Choose sensible typefaces for data tables (within brand guidelines) Serif fonts often make table data hard to read
  • 3. ADD CONTENT INTELLIGENTLY DATA TABLES: CONSISTENCY Use style sheets in web or print to maintain a brand-consistent look and feel to your tables Adobe InDesign has great controls for table styles and it saves time master these
  • DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE PDF WHITE PAPER Design for Differentiation: The Importance of Design in Asset Management Marketing DOWNLOAD