50 Reasons to Follow the Successful Corporate Communications Blog

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

I am proud to commemorate the publication of 50 blog posts! Celebrate with us by continuing to read our blog and encouraging your friends and colleagues to subscribe as well.


Since we just completed our 50th blog post, here’s 50 fabulous reasons to keep reading and rereading:

  1. Take advantage of valuable design tips for your newsletter.
  2. Use color to make a more effective publication.
  3. Learn how to create effective mastheads.
  4. Escape the pitfalls of staff meetings.
  5. Learn ways to deal more effectively with your clients.
  6. Discover how to create more effective bilingual publications.
  7. Find valuable tips on advertising.
  8. Learn about effective branding.
  9. Gain valuable information about e-publications.
  10. Increase your knowledge of printing techniques.
  11. Increase your appreciation of elegant paper stocks.
  12. Learn how to create effective event promotions.
  13. Discover ways to include effective infographics, charts and diagrams in your publications.
  14. Learn about ways to find employment as a skilled graphic designer.
  15. Unearth new ways to promote healthcare events.
  16. Invent new ways to illustrate your newsletter with the use of graphical icons.
  17. Find ways to develop an effective logo for your company.
  18. Learn about ways to add a mascot or cartoon character to your newsletter or publication.
  19. Differentiate your company’s product and service from the competition.
  20. Produce beautiful maps that provide more than just directions.
  21. Explore new ways to be more responsive to your clients.
  22. Recognize how to find a quality print vendor.
  23. Realize the beauty that nature can add to a publication.
  24. Originate the use of iMags for your company’s publications.
  25. Learn how to save $1,000’s on publication costs.
  26. Conceive of new ways to use patterns in your publications.
  27. Innovate the use of online publications in your company’s publication requirements.
  28. Discover ways to add navigational elements to a newsletter.
  29. Lean how to use photos for maximum impact.
  30. Make the best use of typestyles to increase the legibility of a publication.
  31. Find new ways to maintain quality control.
  32. Learn how outsourcing the design of your publications can save the company money and can increase the return on investment (ROI).
  33. Find out why it is important to use a marketing firm that specializes in your industry sector.
  34. Learn what makes your client “tick.”
  35. Discover the importance of having a corporate newsletter.
  36. Explore new reasons why corporations should outsource their marketing efforts.
  37. Unearth the ultimate checklist for developing successful marketing materials.
  38. Invent new ways to harness the power of the word of mouth.
  39. Explore how color defines your brand and shapes your newsletter.
  40. Find out how silhouetted graphics can shape your newsletter.
  41. Invent beautiful patterns and graphics through the use of shadows.
  42. Learn how metallic pins can make great promotional items or giveaways to honor anniversaries, celebrations, or facility openings.
  43. Discover how to use fruits and vegetable shapes to craft an unusual masthead or headline.
  44. Learn how to create healthy designs for healthcare marketing.
  45. Pioneer new ways to include graphical portraiture in your publication.
  46. Benefit from testimonials and how they can create great “buzz.”
  47. Discover how to make your newsletter soar to new heights by adding architectural elements.
  48. Find out how to add edgy border treatments that will make your articles jump off the page.
  49. Recognize the importance of type and how it impacts the look, feel and legibility of the publication.
  50. Discover ways to “tune-up” your marketing without ever getting your hands dirty.

These topics and more can be found on our blog.

Happy reading!  But remember to ask yourself the following question: “Why just be a reader when you could also be a leader?”


If your company needs an innovative newsletter, e-publication, meeting presentation or  advice on communicating, please contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.netWe make beautiful things happen. To find out more please visit westdesign.com.

Harlan West is the author of successfulcorporatecommunications.com and has been working as a creative director and design professional for more than 25 years and has designed and art directed hundreds of publications for both print and online purposes.

Don’t Make Your Clients Wait

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

So much of what we do in today’s fast-paced world involves standing in line and waiting… In every store that I go into, I discover the presence of long lines at the cashier with no one to help you. There’s an important  lesson to be learned here. Building great corporate communications means catering to your clients, not keeping them waiting unnecessarily.  In short, it means giving them the service they deserve.

Stressful people waiting for job interviewAnticipation is not what you want. You want to deliver confidence and trust in your firm so that the client knows what to expect.

A good marketing firm…

1) excels at communication.  It ensures that the client is kept up-to-date on all the latest edits and that concepts are approved at all stages of development. Including the client is as a partner in the decision-making is very critical to the success of the project. The marketing firm should also return all phone calls and e-mails promptly. Staying connected is staying communicated. Never leave your client hanging. If you do, they might hang up!

2) knows how to meet all deadlines.  In advertising land, everything is due yesterday.  But the experienced marketing firm, design group or ad agency should know how to properly plan for the unexpected.  During its 21-year history, our firm has never missed a deadline. Missing a hard deadline is the death knell of any firm. Proper planning and trafficking of all jobs will ensure that all deadlines are met. Continue reading

Creating Effective Bilingual Publications

With ever-changing demographics, it is highly likely that your company will find a need to produce bilingual or even a trilingual publication.  It is not a matter of just translating the text in a document.  It also involves using photographs, color schemes and typefaces that best represent the community.  Sensitivity to the cultural differences is very important.  In short, a company needs to effectively communicate with the target audience and it is more than likely that the target audience will include speakers from Latin and Central America, the Middle East and Asia.  So speaking the language of your audience is crucial to getting your message heard.

All campaigns or marketing materials you develop should represent the rich cultural diversity of the regional area, and hence, the targeted demographic market should be well- represented in the photos and text that are used.

It is crucial to avoid translating the text word-for-word but rather to use native or long-term speakers of a language to rework the text.  They should take into account idiomatic expressions and differences in customs so that the text is easily understandable.

Here are some samples of effective bilingual publications:

1) Bilingual bus schedules
The City of Norwalk hired us to design this very branded set of bilingual bus schedules for the Norwalk Transit System. Each route brochure included English/Spanish bus fare and rider information. The brochures were color-coded for each bus route.  Each brochure  included photos that show diversity.


2) Bilingual Park and Ride Map
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments hired our firm to design a pull-out multi-panel accordion-fold map brochure for Park and Ride lots in the greater Washington D.C. area.  This map containdc two covers with one in English and the flip side or back cover in Spanish to help commuters in the Spanish-speaking community.  This piece was developed to encourage area commuters to leave their cars at home and enjoy a stress-free commute by using a carpool, vanpool bus or train to get to work.

Also in the handy fold-out map was a resource guide that included a complete list of 1) park and ride locations, 2) bus and train routes, 3) carpool lanes, 4) bus and rail services from each park and ride lot, and 5) telephone numbers for transit providers and locations of bicycle racks and lockers.


3) Trilingual healthcare collaterals
The Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center hired us to create a trilingual brochure for the fold-out of a new program to allow members to recognize an individual or department for providing extraordinary customer service. The brochure is printed in Spanish and Chinese to encourage more patients and their families to use the program.care-extraordinairesample

4) Bilingual social service collaterals
The City of Norwalk asked us to create a colorful brochure to help residents resolve neighborly disputes. The City of Norwalk had a large Spanish-speaking population. As a result, we developed this colorful bilingual publication that included photos showing diversity. We created an inviting design to deal with the touchy issue of disputes.


5) Bilingual safety notices
Metrolink asked us to create a safety flyer to be distributed at public schools to help connect with the younger generation. The goal was to educate teens about the importance of refraining from walking on or playing near railroad tracks—quite a dangerous behavior, indeed. This piece was also translated into Spanish.MetrolinksafetyNotices(2)-combined

6) Bilignual rideshare brochure
The Orange County Transportation Authority hired us to create a multi-panel accordion-fold brochure to promote rideshare week. The front side was printed in English and the back side was printed in Spanish. For this brochure layout, we created and enhanced colorful illustrations of various commuter transit modes. These graphics were also used for posters and for bus tail wraps.


If your company needs a beautifully designed bilingual or trilingual publication that also best represents the local community please contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.  We provide translation services and have designed bilingual communications for print and online media.

Speak the language of your audience!  You’ll reach many more people that way.


Please note: All projects displayed on this blog are meant for educational and instructional rather than promotional purposes. We respect our clients’ brand integrity.