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Creating Consistent Design Across Hospital Communications

Highlights from the Missouri Hospital Association’s Annual Conference for Public Relations and Marketing

We enjoyed June in Lake of the Ozarks. While it was hot and humid for us Chicagoans, the climate at the Summer Session was warm, refreshing and welcoming!

This past week the Missouri Hospital Association’s annual conference for Public Relations and Marketing was held at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. We were thrilled to be able to present with our Citizens Memorial Hospital client, Tamera Heitz-Peek. We dug into the topic of ensuring consistent design throughout traditional and digital platforms.

For those of you who couldn’t make the conference or want a refresher, here are 6 ways to establish consistent design across traditional and digital tactics:

1. The Brand Strategy

It is important to ensure one voice through the development of Brand Positioning. That voice should be unique and differentiating. The strategy must be aligned so that the entirety of the project runs parallel moving forward and all components reflect a single brand position.

2. The Creative Brief

Why are we here? The objective of the brief is to align everyone to the same purpose, message and outcome for the campaign. The brief is the “pinky swear” that holds the entire creative initiative together, keeps the design consistent between traditional and digital and the focus centered on the target.

3. The Sequencing

You don’t always have the luxury of time or budget to build your brand from scratch. While beginning with a new foundation provides the opportunity to start with a broader goal in mind, you’re more likely to be in a position where you need to build from existing materials. Either way, you need to create a master timeline of material development and communicate often internally to provide reassurances to and celebrate successes with stakeholders.

4. Distinct Visual Elements

To keep your brand fresh and recognizable, leverage unique visual cues that alert the target to your brand. Elements to consider when developing your visual identity are: fonts; colors; headline treatments (position, etc); photography style, subject matter and composition; and copy length and placement.

5. The Builds

Once the overall visual identity is set, you should establish how your key design equities translate across all media. These are your “force multipliers” that build recognition through repetition across elements and get you the best results for your money. You will also want to consider creating a Graphic Standards Manual and templates to maintain consistency throughout the visual aspects of the campaign.

6. Web and Mobile

Finally, make sure that the website design and layout are compatible with and easily navigated on a mobile device. For example, mobile devices necessitate more user-friendly navigation, either at thumb-level or in a navigation widget. Digital design can also call for small tweaks that remain true to the key design equities but respect the medium. For example, you may flatten dynamic design elements to enhance the user experience.

Are there other ways you ensure that your brand has a consistent design throughout traditional and digital platforms? We’d love to hear about them!

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