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Brochure Critque

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by j Paul, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    This is the first I have seen of this thread. Not that you were waiting for my critique or anything J Paul.:icon11: I am liking it as you minimize it. I like the front and back. I think the right flap does have too many things listed, you lose me probably a third of the way down. Some of your readers might be ADD like me........as an example............documents and diplomas are essentially the same thing, watercolor-pen and ink-charcoals-serigraphs/lithographs could all go under "works of art". You have "metals and ribbons" might you mean "medals"? If so, that could also be included with 3-D objects. I think the list would read better shortened.

    All the framed examples look killer, especially those with ribbons attached!

    As to the "Bring your art to L.I.F.E I am in agreement that it is just too visible. More visible than your address. I can also feel for Mar because as I recall, she is the first one to come up with the slogan. You may have changed entrepanuer to expert but she did come up with the catchy phrase. I really like the phrase. If it had been a real contest I would have voted for it so I can see why you are attracted to it. But, let's give Mar a big "kudos" for coming up with it in the first place. Hats off to you Mar!

    I appreciate the energy that you are putting into this thing JPaul. I like playing around with this stuff too. I can do a postcard, but man, a brochure is a lot of work. Hat's off to you too!
  2. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Critique away Kathy! (Don't want to hijack my own thread, but I have given Mar credit for originally coming up with LIFE, although not in it's current form. Mar stated that she hated the stupid acronym that she came up with though. Somebody had to run with the new improved version. )

    What do you guys think of the changes to this one panel of the inside of the brochure. I eliminated the screen capture (Yellow Box) from our TV spot and am just using the before with the framed after pics.

    I think I will replace these images from Digital Custom with pictures that I have actually had them do for me. Just have to scan and then IF the frames.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The panel listing types of framing I will work on. Just a rough draft of kind of what I want on that page. More of a place holder right now.
  3. cmd

    cmd Grumbler in Training


    Don't fear white space.
    I know you want to get the most out of the space, but I would recommend decreasing all font sizes. You want their attention, but you don't want to be obnoxious. All the other comments everyone is saying makes sense.
  4. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Body text is only 11pt. I think a lot of people might have trouble reading text much smaller than that. Headlines might be able to come down in size some more.
  5. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree that except for disclaimers and such 11 pt. is probably as small as you want to go. I also concur that the headlines/LIFE logo could be reduced slightly and would provide more white space.

    I know I'm being nit-picky, but I would say "water stained" instead of using the word "damaged" again. Also, leave off the "Etc...". Again, less verbiage = easier to read.

    I'm also not sure that the exclamation points add anything to the list of maladies and might consider using the words "Preserving Memories" instead of "Saving Memories" in the heading. You could try using bullets before the listed items instead.

    Also ...Instead of "Do you have treasured photos that have become damaged?" I might just say "Do you have damaged photographs?" or "Have your treasured photos become damaged?".

  6. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Gee Dave, I should just forward my program and all of my files to you. :p
    In real LIFE people tell me I am quiet and should talk more. Who would know I could be so wordy in trying to write this brochure.
    You guys keep up the suggestions they are helping. I did shrink the Headlines although it is a little hard to tell without the whole page as a reference.

    My gun seems to be out of bullets right now. When I try to put them in, it inserts random letters and at this point I have not seem what button I hit to screw that up. Will have to investigate further.
    Maybe I'll try just a page or two at a time.
    Here the latest revision based on your advice.

  7. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Back Cover - Revisions

    I shurnk the headlines - reduced copy - shurnk background pictures and rearranged them so they are in the same order as the copy.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Garnetta

    Garnetta CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I'd lose the images that are screened behind your type. It makes it too difficult to read. Also, I think the copy should be aligned left, not centered. You should choose either centered or left aligned....don't use both.
  9. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    JP ...you gotta love this! I guess you asked for it though ...;)

    Center your logo and try left justified for the type as Garnetta said. I'm not sure which would be better, but she's got the formal training. My eye was developed working with graphic designers in my past life.

    Everything is becoming much cleaner graphically and quite easy to read.

    Good work.

  10. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
    So let's say I'm this PIA customers who insists on having these photo's on the back cover. How do you make it work? Change the font? Put text in Box? De-screen images and reduce?

    I hope out of the 900+ views this thread has had so far, that others are learning something from this also and that it might help them as well.
  11. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I like the top second one or the third bottom one. Don't like the headline left justified of the first one at all.. I realize you'd center the logo on the third one.

    I know Garnetta thinks the screened photos make the type difficult to read, but I'm not so sure. I think that if they are screened back as far as they are you still have enough contrast that they can still be easily read. If you take them out it might look too stark.

  12. Sherry Lee

    Sherry Lee SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You remind me of me when I started to make our brochure. I tried to cram everything I wanted the world to know about the company into a page. Then one day the light came on and because I realized it would cost a fortune to print that much information - and in color - I'd be broke! So......I whittled away and got it down to 1/3 a piece of paper. And as a result, I print three on one piece of paper.

    Yes, the very top (beginning) of any brochure must be your "punch"! It must have the most important piece of information you'd want anyone to know - and it must be easy on the eyes.....your company name, address, phone number, email address and web site.

    What follows is a SIMPLE declaration of what your business can do for your customer.

    The bottom of our brochure is that we are a member of PPFA with the PPFA logo.

    Most important though is to make it easy on the eyes - too much clutter, too much activity, too bold and the reader will be immediately lost.

    With all due respect, I love your "Local Independent Framing Expert" line - but perhaps place it under your company's name - or your name. Write "Your Local Independent Framing Expert". 1) that personalizes the statement and 2) the L I F E is distracting and misleading, if you will; you are not in the health industry.

    Suggestion: Print out the brochure as it is and put it on your work table where you will see it first thing of a morning - when you are fresh! Then get your immediate gut reaction....as if this was just mailed to you. Then tweak it - limit the pictures, toss L I F E, condense the imformation and allow it to flow. Remember, easy on the eyes. And again, leave it out on the work table to view first thing the next morning. Retweak. Repeat as necessary.

    That's my recommendation. Sorry if I'm too blunt; that's why I never would make it in politics!

    I can't be all that bad though - I'm a Buckeye too! ;)
  13. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would also get rid of all of the "dot dot dots."

    What purpose do they serve??? In the world of writing three periods in a row mean some sort of hesitation... or signify something left out. Make them go away now please!

    I also like Garnetta's original diamond shaped "dots" between the LIFE letters - I think the faint grey square "dots" just don't register.

    I am satisfied with your Service Mark explanation - and making it available to any who wish to use it whilst keeping it out of the hands of anyone who would seek to do us harm.

    Now jpaul - please fix the spacing on your signature line and I'll be really happy!!!
  14. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well, jpaul - nice try on the sig line but now instead of horizontal dots you have vertical dots!


    Go out and buy yourself a copy of Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It is the quintessential primer on writing, punctuation and and commonly misused words and phrases.

    "Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, an amplification, or an illustrative quotation."

    I must admit I play fast and loose with both spelling and punctuation - in email and on the Grumble. On my website and in anything to be published I take scrupulous care to make sure everything is letter perfect (so to speak!). I have written to total strangers and pointed out spelling errors or typos on their websites.

    If you really want to learn this stuff (or re-learn what you were taught in grade school) buy yourself a copy of the best seller Eats Shoots and Leaves. The author has fun with the subject and is very passionate.

    Typesetting is nothing without proper use of language and punctuation.

    OK, down from my soapbox now - where's Captain English when you need her?????
  15. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Just no pleasing you Mar.:p There's only so much you can do with a signature line within the Grumble. It isn't an editing program. I'll have to see if I can cut and paste it from another program for you. I know this is upsetting your universe, :p :p :p ..................................

    (all meant in jest)
  16. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    In your signature Paul, why not make the first letter of each word blue so LIFE is easier to see...........................and then shrink it about 75% and you are good to go.
  17. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Now Kathy, I'm going to catch it because the second line is bigger than the first line and it is set at the smallest size of 1 pt. Sig line is not on the brochure, just trying to change it to make Mar happy. :p :p :p (smileys in place of ...)
  18. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


  19. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK, I got rid of the sig. line completely just for you, Mar.
    Now we will resume normally scheduled critique of the brochure on Monday.
  20. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

  21. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John, I believe you would need to say "Bring your art to a L.I.F.E., since that is an acronym for the noun, Local Independent Framing Expert.

    You wouldn't say "bring your art to local independent framing expert." An acronym needs to be treated exactly as the word(s) form it represents. The test is whether you can substitute the words for the acronym.
  22. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Now Paul, that would just throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing and not make it usable (that's not what you want is it? ;) )

    And I don't know that is really the rule or not anyway. Here in Toledo, they use the slogan, "Ride TARTA" , which would translate "Ride Toledo Area Transit Authority" and would be similar in other cities.
    I think it is being just a little to technical. People can read, "Bring your Art to LIFE" and Local Independent Framing Expert and I believe make the connection.

    Don't know that it falls exactly under this category or not, but seems in the same vein to me. A double entendre is a figure of speech similar to the pun, in which a spoken phrase can be understood in either of two ways.

    PS. Still waiting to hear from my local peers in regards to the letter I mailed about Join Together.
  23. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    For once here I find myself agreeing with jpaul on this one - perhaps because I came up with the line way back when??? LOL!

    Bring your Art to LIFE
    (Local Independent Framing Entrepeneurs)

    And it is not a double entendre (aren't they usually dirty?)nudge nudge ;) ;) - nor it it a pun - not even a figure of speech - just an advertising slogan!

    Local Indy Framing Elf...
  24. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Don't let proper usage and grammar stand in your way, but in your example of "Ride TARTA," TARTA is a noun, and the word "The" is merely implied. I'm only offering a suggestion. You asked for critique and this is a valid point, so please don't accuse me of wanting to derail your idea. I've been an advocate of indie framers working together and marketing together, regardless of how they do it.

    However, my concern with L.I.F.E. is, and always has been, its connection to the very polarizing social issue of abortion. It may not matter to the vast majority of people, but since most of our customers are women, I don't know if I would want to take that risk. It's just something to consider before you insert it in your advertising, especially if you're not located in the Bible Belt.
  25. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I don't know Paul. Even if "the" is to be understood, it would still read, "ride the Toledo Area Transit Authority" which is an organization, not the actual BUS. So the term TARTA has come to mean something else in the mind of the people.

    I think that LIFE has a lot of other uses other than the Pro-Life thing. LIFE Magazine, LIFE Cereal, game of LIFE ... (those dots are for you Mar, a continuation of thought) Now you could argue that LIFE is then overused and that could be the case. I think in the context of how I use it that the point will be made. We are talking about the times of and People, Place and Things of their LIFE.

    Oh, and by the way, you did see the ;) in my comment didn't you. That means we're playing around and having a good time.

    PS. Although I obviously am not a word-smith, according too http://www.answers.com/topic/double-entendre although the second meaning is usually risqué, not necessarily.

    pps Local Indy Framing Elf... now that suits you Mar. What's up with the ...?
  26. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Once again, I appreciate all feedback received thus far. Of course there are a lot of different opinions and I have tried to implement a number of them.
    As far as using the slogan LIFE, I know some are for it and some not. I am committed to using it and believe in it's potential effectiveness with various tag lines. I have reduced the size as much as practical. It is still a more prominent part of the pages on which it occurs, but that is my intention. If it is to become a brand, it needs to have a certain amount of impact.
    So with that said, I would appreciate further comments regarding layout and such. Again though, I really do appreciate all of the comments, positive and negative.

    I would appreciate your comments on this one inside panel portion.
    1. First panel shows stock photos from Digital Custom, which I like but they are not unique to my store. (except the after frame)
    2. Second panel shows a before & after colorized and unframed ( my beautiful wifes graduation picture that I carried in my wallet for over 30 yrs. circa 1969)
    3. Third panel shows a before & after colorized / water damaged photo of two little boys (my son-in-law and his little brother)
    What do you think of these options? ( I do have other restoration from customers that show more dramatic results, but would have to get their permission to use them)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  27. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    jP ...I like the one with your lovely wife because it personalizes the brochure and works just as well.

    However ...are you sure you can get her permission?


    Oh, by the way, I think LIFE is a positive uplifting word and never associated it particularly to any political or moral issues.
  28. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Right Flap Revision

    Before [​IMG] Latest [​IMG]

    Is it better broken up by headers and bullets?

    I still think that some kind of list like this is important in order to spark peoples imaginations.

    Once I get this page down, I think I am ready to put the whole thing back together for one final proof reading before it goes to print.
  29. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I might change out one of the sports shadowboxes and put in a piece of artwork.
  30. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Paul ...much improved, but your spacing is off and not equidistant between headlines. I like the headlines, because a quick scan lets you center on types of frameables and then you can look further within a category. Try to get a little more white space inbetween the last item in a category and the next headline of the next category ...kind of like what you see between "Musical Instruments" and the headline "Fabrics and Textiles".

    I would like to see a little more white space though. One way to accomplish this might be to combine some of the items within a category and place the bullet between them to separate them.

  31. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks Dave

    My eyes are going buggy from looking at the screen too much. My design program bullets are screwed up, so I have to do it in a word processor, cut and paste back into the design. I think it is better but I have to line up on a grid as I transform from one program to another.

    I'll make sure too check every page with a second or third set of eyes for spelling/ alignment etc before it is final to print.

  32. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think it looks great, jP!!!

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Small input:

    Drop Pen & Ink to Mixed Media line.

    I guess I wouldn't change anything else!
  33. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    ...yes that is better. Framing design is so much easier, but I am enjoying this. Thanks for all of the help.
  34. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Lookin' Good!

    I would, however, if you don't mind me saying this - get rid of the shadowing behind the framing! I think a potential customer might look at those shadows and think your frames will hang that far away from their walls to create such shadows.

    It subtracts from the white space and makes everything look too busy.

    Looking at it again it also bothers me that two of the frames are overlapping and two are free-floating. I believe they should all be overlapping or all free-floating - pick one!!!

  35. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree about the shadows ...but it begs the question ...where did the term "shadow box" come from???


    Actually it might look good to leave the shadows around the shadowboxes.
  36. Garnetta

    Garnetta CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Lighten those shadows!

    The shadows are way too heavy and significant. I believe it would improve the looks to lighten the shadows quite a bit. Maybe to a 15% grey.

    Then your framing will stand out more than the shadows do and still have a three dimensional quality.

    Just my .02 worth.:kaffeetrinker_2:
  37. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Garnetta's solution sounds good. You'll still have a three dimensional effect without the shadows being so overbearing.

  38. Garnetta

    Garnetta CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Another suggestion

    I would use the bold sans serif type for your individual headings and then use a non-bold serif type for the listings under the headings.

    Like this:

    Personal Treasures
    • Photographs
    • Certificates • Achievements
    • Greeting Cards
    • Children's Artwork

    Can you see the difference from your first attempt at this to how it looks now? You've come a long way, baby! :thumbsup:
  39. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK! Let's take a look at the whole thing.
    I don't have a fancy design program (PrintShop Deluxe22), so things like gray scale 15% don't exist as such, I just have color selection / transparency/softness slide scales.

    Subheadings are Ariel CYR 12pt and bullets are Ariel 10pt. The Ariel 10pt. is not Bold Selected and when I do a printout it looks fine, maybe just looks different on the screen, as it is a low resolution image only save at 300dpi.

    Yes, it has come a long way, and again I want to thank everyone who has contributed.



    One thing I notice that can not be appreciated when looking at this on the monitor as opposed to a print out. The inside really reads as three distinct pages when you have physical fold lines to separate the areas.

    I still have to be able to insert a better file of my logo. I have it in PDF and several other versions. I had used a jpeg because it was on hand but will replace with a better version.
  40. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Small tweeking suggestions. Garnetta, please pop in if you disagree.

    1.) Drop "Preserving Memories" down slightly to allow more space from "Photo Restoration".

    2.) Lower "Make Your Pictures POP!" a bit.

    Your shadow selection is much better.

    I'll just presume you got a release from your lovely wife!


    GREAT JOB, jP!!!
  41. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    #1 My limited program won't allow me to do that. In Headlines I can change proportions of line 1 & 2 but not spacing.

    #2 I slid that down a little more

    Model release from my wife. Yea, I had to pay for that one. :D
  42. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    jP ...you could just set the type in a separate title block and center it.
  43. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Don't know if I can do that on this program the way it handles Headlines, it would probably mess them all up. I'll look into trying it.

    In the meantime, I can do this, if it is any better.


  44. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Looks good JPaul! Quite a learning experience huh? For us all. I like the listings with the bold headings much better than your original concept and the shadows do look much better.

    Are you printing these yourself? I was using PrintShop for my postcards and biz cards but I got oh so tired of printing all of them. I had a hard time finding printers who could work with Print Shop. One guy who was able to told me my resolution was very low. He tried to show me how to save at higher res in Print Shop and lo and behold no way. So, I gave up Print Shop in favor of Publisher. Lots of bells and whistles there, but all the printers work with it. Makes Print Shop look like a toy. I am going to have to take a class to learn how to use it. I bet you would have a blast playing with it.
  45. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That does look a little better with the type larger.

    And the POP looks good too.

    Nice job, jP!!!
  46. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm going to have them printed Kathy. Printing them on your own printer costs a fortune and they just don't look as good. I have gotten prices on glossy #100lb stock for less than $300. per thousand. Will try to work with a local company in my immediate area. This version of PrintShop does allow you to save file as a PDF and I have used it to do business cards before.
  47. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Oh! bye the way.
    Besides my lovely wife in the restored photo, that is my youngest daughter and me in the TV commercial. Her and her new husband in the wedding photo. My son's Varsity Letter and stuff in the Tennis Shadowbox. My Mom in the Pop Art piece. I have two more daughters that I have framed samples in the shop but didn't work out for the brochure.
  48. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Looks super terrific great - by Jove you've done it!!!!!


    You must be Soooooo Happy!!!
  49. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Just might have done it with alot of help from my friends.
    Have some prototypes printed up and get real life opinions on them before going to full print.

    Thanks a bunch. Will be back with more "help needed" or will scan and post a final of the real thing in a few weeks. :smiley:
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