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Despite all the white space necessary for a functional notepad, notepads can present certain design challenges. The key to successful notepad design is to create a notepad that acts as an extension of your identity package. Your notepad design should work to build your brand image and set your company apart from the competition. The following notepad design essentials will help you do just that:
Your notepads will be handed out, used at meetings, in inter- and intra-office communications and more, so you want to make sure that anyone whose eyes pass over it takes notice. This doesn't mean your notepad design should be gaudy, only that it should grab immediate attention. Use bright colors or unique shapes and images, a creative theme or other device to accomplish this.
Striking design isn't synonymous with big design. It's important that your notepad is useful for its intended purpose, so leave plenty of white space for jotting notes, sketches and diagrams. Include all the necessary information: organization name, logo, address, contact information, etc.; and leave out anything that takes up too much space. A header and a footer are all that's needed on your notepad - everything in between should be white.
Your logo and organization colors should be prominent in your notepad design. You can also consider adding value to your notepads, depending on how they'll be used. Can you include a brief-yet-useful checklist, relevant conversion/tipping chart or other device to help you stand out from the competition? How about a monthly sales calendar or reminder? A mechanic's notepad could include a row of tires across the top, for example, each with a different maintenance tip for each month: "May - Rotate and balance your tires." Theme your notepad when possible: tires or wrenches for mechanics, waves or marine animals for saltwater aquariums, the scales of justice for attorneys, etc; but do so in a unique and creative way. Don't copy the competition - do it better!
This goes along with commanding attention: Whether you're using one, two or four colors in your notepad design, make sure they vividly capture the tone of your organization. Appropriate hues resonate with your audience.
If in doubt, or if you just want to streamline the process for enhanced efficiency, use a pre-formatted notepad template that clearly indicates bleed lines, cut lines and safe areas and lets you designate drill holes. These templates are already print-ready in the proper resolution (at least 300 dpi) and color mode (CMYK), so you'll save time with your notepad design and erase any layout doubts by downloading a notepad template. Notepads are more than an add-on to the conventional identity package. They're an extension of your branding and marketing efforts that carry widespread appeal and value. Create your notepads with the end goals in mind - projecting an image and eliciting a response - and your notepad designs are sure to be a hit.