Help Your Designer, Help Yourself

gratzer-graphics-logoGuest post by Gratzer Graphics LLC Principal/Designer, Colleen Gratzer.

Since 2010, Gratzer Graphics LLC has provided design services to 501cTECH, including for the Celebration of Technology. Like 501cTECH, Gratzer Graphics is committed to serving nonprofits and understands their needs and budget. Gratzer has almost 20 years of experience serving nonprofits in the areas of branding, marketing collateral, online presence, events, and publication design and layout. Her expertise has resulted in increased fundraising and attendance at events, increased fundraising through direct mail and heightened awareness about a nonprofit’s mission. Below is the first part of a blog series written by Gratzer that details how to get the most bang for your buck when working with a graphic designer.


Help Your Designer, Help Yourself, Pt 1

AaPreparing Copy

This is the first of a three-part series called Help Your Designer, Help Yourself. This segment is about preparing your copy for your designer. Following all or most of these steps will allow your designer to lay out copy in the most efficient way possible and may keep you from incurring additional charges. You’ll help yourself and your designer.

  • Use styles in Word or place a consistently used code (for which the designer will later search and remove throughout) to denote headings, sidebars, block quotes, etc., such as <h1> for first-level (largest) headings, <h2> for second-level headings, <block> for block quotes, etc. You may also denote the end of a block quote or sidebar if that element’s length exceeds a paragraph.
  • Remove double spaces.
  • Use only a single tab when aligning text.
  • Do not use multiple paragraph marks.
  • Use center alignment, not tabs, to center text.
  • Do not use the return key unless you intend to start a new paragraph. Typing on the computer is not like typing on a typewriter: a line break should not be placed at the end of every line of text—only at the end of every paragraph.

When writing your copy, you may find the following resources helpful to type special characters and symbols in Windows or on a Mac.

If you cannot send all copy at once, it is usually OK to send the copy in sections, but only once those sections have been finalized.

Only send what needs to go in the layout. For example, if you have a document with more information than will be included in the piece, it is faster and more efficient to only send what is needed. Otherwise, the designer has to guess or stop and ask questions, which causes confusion and delays.

To keep your costs for revisions to a minimum, all text should be edited and proofread prior to sending to any designer. Having to redo the layout due to major text changes will result in additional charges.

Topics: nonprofit technology

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