First impressions are everything. And while your written reports may tell a compelling story, it might go unheard if not for the perfect cover page.
Hello world! Mike Ploger back with Visme, the online platform that enables even the most inexperienced designers to market their products like professionals.
We’ve all heard it before, looks don’t mean everything. It’s what lies underneath that’s important.
Well, when it comes to reports, this is only partially true. You may have the content to change the world but you also might have a cover page that shouts look elsewhere.
An inviting visually stunning report cover page design is as important as the information following it and in this video, I’ll teach you the elements necessary to guarantee your audience is locked in from the moment they lay eyes on your report.
Why You Need an Eye Catching Cover Page
First, let’s dive into why your cover page is so important. For one, it’s your first opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Our brains are much better at remembering imagery than plain text.
Don’t believe me? Well, proceedings from the National Academy of Science states, humans can remember 2,000 images with 90% accuracy. Those are absurd numbers that can’t be said when it comes to plain text.
And on top of a well designed cover page being more memorable, it’s also proven to have a more persuasive effect. Visuals make presentations more interesting and professional.
A well designed cover page can be the difference in someone picking up your report versus leaving in the stack, or your superiors clearly remembering your research because of that beautiful cover versus confusing it with another report.
What to Include on Your Cover Page
Now as you begin to design your cover page, there are a number of items you should be sure to include. The obvious choices are your title and any subtitle that you may have.
And of course the author, AKA most likely you and the authors’ job title as well. Then be sure to throw in the company name and logo to provide even more background on where the research is coming from.
Then be sure to finish it off with the date of completion. If you follow one of Visme’s templates for cover page design, these will all be included for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks.
How to Create an Amazing Report Cover Page Design
Okay. Enough with the nitty gritty. Let’s get to why you actually came here in the first place – how to design your report cover page.
1. Choose Your Colors Wisely
Be smart when you begin to choose a color scheme. Yes, I know, you’ll see that color wheel and you will feel like a kid in a candy store because you want to choose every single color under the sun.
But try to refrain from doing so. Stick to the colors already determined in your brand or in your company’s color palette if you have one.
This doesn’t mean you can’t change the tints or shades of those colors. Play around with it a little bit but try not to use more than three different variations of a single color. It’ll confuse a viewer.
Another tip, color your title text with some contrast to the background. Make it pop! This will enhance readability and it is easier to digest.
And if you’re still struggling with color combinations, read Visme’s post about 50 different combinations to choose from that are proven to work just like these next to me. The link is above.
2. Don’t Rush With Font Selection
It’s no secret that a lot of us spend way too much time coming up with that perfect font. But with so many options, each with their own personalities, how can we not?
One way to combat this is to understand what feelings different typefaces elicit. For example, Script fonts are elegant. Serif fonts are more serious and San Serif fonts tend to be more modern.
But if you don’t want to bother scrolling through the hundreds of options now available for writers, simply pick from the top 5 best fonts for graphic design – Azoft Sans, Exo, Economica, Marvel or Montserrat.
You can use more than one font for your cover page but I don’t recommend using more than two or three. The most important aspect of your fonts is the readability and how well they pair together.
Don’t hesitate to watch Visme’s founder Payman Taei, dive deeper into font pairing right up there.
3. Select Attention-Grabbing Visuals
There are a few key characteristics to remember when deciding your cover page visuals, whether it be a data visualization or a photograph.
The first, only choose from the highest quality images available. The higher the resolution, the better. A blurred image can immediately downplay your expertise and your professionalism.
In addition to a high quality image, choose photos that are of course relevant to your content. They can be simple yet unique and they should display personality.
The Wildlife Conservation Society nailed these tips in their 2019 impact report, letting their photo alone spark readers curiosity.
4. Plan the Cover Page Hierarchy
The hierarchy of a design is the organization in which the content lays in order to guide a viewer through the image. What should a reader notice first and second and so on?
Well, take a look at this Visme template of a CRO proposal. Boom! CRO Proposal – big and bold, immediately catching our eyes before anything else on the image.
That’s because it’s designed to. Soon we read the subtitle which gives us a clue into what CRO means – conversion rate optimization.
Now, big text and subtitles aren’t the only keys for accomplishing a strong hierarchy. While you size your text accordingly, make sure to leave breathing room between the elements to not overwhelm a viewer.
I’ll get to this more in a second, but too many fonts or variations in color can have the same effect. Keep it simple. Remember, the cover page is just a tease of what’s to come.
5. Factor in White Space
Now, as I just mentioned, don’t overcrowd your image. Too many visual elements can be a problem, which is why you need an ample amount of white space.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, white space is simply unmarked areas of an image. Contrary to the name, it doesn’t have to be white. It can be any color or pattern that is not a main element of the design.
Here, take a look at this cover page. Really all it is is a title and a subtitle surrounded by about 200 circles. Those circles make up the white space as they are not a crucial element to the design.
Even the circles have white space around them for added clarity. The more white space around an element, the more eyes are drawn to that element giving it importance.
Okay, it’s your turn. Designing a cover page may seem like a tricky task, but if you explore more of our templates on Visme.co, it’ll feel easier than you could imagine.
Let our design experts guide in the right direction with cover pages that are ready to go right now. All you have to do is plug in your own information.
And if I was of any help, make sure you subscribe to our channel.
Once you’ve wowed your readers, I think you’ll want to come back and check out what else we can help you with.
For now, good luck! I hope to catch you again some time soon. With Visme, I’m Mike Ploger helping you Make Information Beautiful.