At the 2011 Animal Rights Conference I attended a session called Printing Our Message, with Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals. My notes:
Runkle had some general recommendations for what our printed message says, and specific recommendations on appearance, layout, working with printers.
Images: A study showed that people respond best to photographs of canine-type animals.
Don’t condemn the audience. People don’t respond well to accusations and guilt-trips.
Different audiences require different words, colors, layouts. For example, a message will look different if directed to a teen audience as opposed to an elderly one.
Fonts: Choose fonts carefully. Different fonts convey different moods. Too many fonts clutter a page and confuse the reader.
Similarly, colors convey mood as well as character. MFA’s logo, for example, is blue and grey, conveying a sense of trust, stability, and honesty. You’ll notice that many banks choose blue for their main logo color.
Use high-quality photographs. You don’t have to pay a photographer in most caes because many suitable images are available at low- or no cost. For example, MFA has a Flickr account with photos anyone can use. Vegan Outreach also allows use of its images. Additionally there are stock photos at several sites:
Royalty-free photos can be used for free but they are available to anyone. You many find the images you choose on many sites. If you want exclusive images you will need to pay for that restriction.
You don’t have to do this all yourself. You can outsource parts or all of your printed work.
A good source for getting multiple quotes is printlocal.com.
Distribution of printed literature:
Literature can be distributed in many ways: newsstands (you can get these boxes from Peta), festivals, libraries, and leafleting, for example.
Use simple surveys to determine how well your printed materials are working. MFA, for example, sends out a survey a certain number of days after sending out requested literature, asking if the recipient made any changes as a result of reading the piece.
Business cards are a must.
You might want to publish a newsletter or magazine.
You can save money by printing pieces jointly, paying part of the cost of a large order that is designed by a major animal organization. The additional cost would pay for having your contact information printed on the material as well. Many organizations are open to joint printing.
Our notes from the 2011 AR conference will be all at http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar2011/. Notes from 2009′s conference are at http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar-2009/.