What a One Pager is and how to design one Part II (includes template)
Parte II: Sobre diseño y plantilla gratis para descargar.
In the first part of “What a One Pager is and how to design one”, we talked about the basics of this document for investors, as well as the standards that we've found after several years contributing to the design of nearly 100 executive summaries of this type in conjunction with Wayra, the startup accelerator from Telefónica.
Now it's time to talk about design: both what the design of our One Pager can do, and what the main points to consider are, before you even hire a professional.
At the end of the post, you'll find a download link for a basic template we have prepared at Soluble Studio.
Let's get started!
This section is the most obvious for a designer and, at the same time, the most difficult to write. The amount of ideas, recommendations and standards that we could include without too much effort would be enough for several articles.
Nevertheless, I think it might be useful to try to select and put together some very basic concepts here that can help you take your One Pager to the next level in terms of design, especially if you're not designers.
The first requirement, before we begin to talk about these concepts, is to be aware of what a good document design can help achieve. To be aware of why presenting a Word document with everything in Times New Roman is not the same as delivering a document with a well thought-out design.
By paying careful attention to the design of our One Pager, we can:
Make the document our own
Differentiate ourselves. Not be just one more. Stand out from the crowd while remaining one of the group. When we master the medium and the context, we can straddle the fine line that separates the standard from the unusual in order to grab attention and enjoy a few more seconds of attention than the rest.
Invite people to read
Beauty vs. function has always given rise to heated debates, but what is not in doubt is the idea that when beauty and function go hand in hand the result is unbeatable. Paying careful attention to the design of your One Pager will make people want to read it. Simple.
Manage the reading order
From a purely practical point of view, design is the most powerful tool for not only ordering information, but also for deciding in what order we want the document recipient to read it. Organising the content into a hierarchy invites the reader to let us guide them.
Keep their attention
If we can charm the person at the other end, we'll be able to eke out a few more minutes of attention that might play a key role in getting our message across.
Generate trust and credibility
In the face of the new or the strange, our attitude as human beings tends to veer towards caution and distrust. A friendly and pleasant initial approach will give rise to a more receptive and favourable attitude. By working on the design, we take a big first step towards building trust and credibility.
Make a mark
After the first reading, our One Pager runs the risk of going unnoticed and the next document in the stack erasing the slightest trace we might have left. A good design will help us to make a mark, to make people remember our project and to recognise it the next time they come across it.
Build a brand
Even the smallest interaction between your project and a person contributes to the development of your brand. For better or worse. The One Pager is not a minor interaction for the person who receives it (the information they hope to extract is extremely relevant), so this is a great opportunity to direct our brand towards its ideal positioning.
Achieving all this with design requires practice and craft, but there are some key points that we can consider in order to achieve a good design before we call in a designer.
10 basic tips for the design of a good One Pager:
Only use the features of your brand. Identify the key resources of your brand on the visual and verbal levels. What gives your brand personality, what makes it unique in written and visual terms: colours, typography, iconography, tone and style, how the name of your company is written, etc. Make sure the different parts of the document are consistent with each other, and that the document is consistent with the rest of your brand's points of contact.
Keep your creativity in check. In general when working with documents related to our brand, and with the One Pager in particular, we need to hold ourselves back and stay faithful to all the previous points. We should put the document typology and brand coherence before our desire to create something new. The effectiveness of our message delivery is at stake.
All design decisions have consequences. Of course none of them will be dramatic or fatal, but an accumulation of small consequences can undermine the effectiveness of the document. Therefore, if any design decisions are not clear to us, we should try to stick to the standards or look for good advice.
Sizing and contrast. Let's not forget that the main objective of the One Pager is to get people to read it, in the most literal sense. Pay careful attention to the contrast between the text and the background and, of course, the size of the font we use. Usually 10pt type works well and allows us not to have to sacrifice information. To make sure, the best thing to do is to do tests before sending it out.
Borders and blank spaces. Your best friend when it comes to achieving a professional design: blank space. Don't squeeze the information in, which can make it difficult to identify the different parts. Let the headings breathe, make sure that the areas where a column ends and where the next one begins look good, that each feature has what we call a "safe area" around it. If this is not the case, you may need to go over the information and sacrifice something, or write it in another way in order to make some space.
Styles and hierarchies. Designing with a well-defined hierarchy will make our One Pager much more enjoyable to read, while allowing us to guide the person who reads it through the most important content. To do this, we assign a style to each category, playing with the colour, the text size, the typography weight (light, regular, bold ...) or the typography itself. Austerity in the number of different styles is extremely important as is coherence between features which belong to the same level.
Colours and typographies. Like almost everything we talk about in these articles, this depends on the particular context we find ourselves in, but there are some general points that may be useful. First of all, we should use the colours and typographies that we habitually use with our brand. Having two different options often works quite well, since this allows for a balance between versatility and restraint.
Lists, paragraphs and bold type. The content will dictate what format we should use for the text of our One Pager. However, we should try to give the information dynamism by using different wording and highlighting the most relevant parts. Taking the paragraph as the basic shape, we can use lists, timelines, graphs and icons to make for a more enjoyable read.
Graphic resources. To borrow a cliche, a picture is worth... So let's not rule out that option. Incorporating a small graphic, a screenshot or a photo of our physical product can save us a lot of text that might not even be read. You may say: "You could take heed of that advice yourself, buddy". And you'd be right. To compensate, at the end of this article you'll find a template that we at Soluble have prepared :)
Order and composition. This is probably the most relevant point of all, but also the one that's impossible to summarise in a breezy paragraph. When we talk about editorial design or print layout, as the case may be, the order of features and the balance in the composition play a key role. One idea that might help: imagine that we have the printed One Pager and that the ink on the paper has weight; if we hang the page by a thread from its centre, the ink should be distributed so that the page stays balanced.
Template for a standard One Pager
After part I was posted, several people asked for some examples to supplement the information. Due to obvious issues with confidentiality, we can't publish real examples, but I can tell you that we're working on some fictional examples that will help you design your first One Pagers.
In the meantime we've prepared a simple template that you can use to at least help you filter the content. You can download it for free for PowerPoint, Keynote and Google Presentations by simply filling out a short form so we can get acquainted.
The typeface of the template is Roboto, a free Google Font. You can (you should, if you don't use Robot in your project) change both the typeface and the colours to make the document your own.
Soluble Studios is pleased to launch onepager.design, a parallel project we hope helps us reach more entrepreneurs who need customised assistance with the design of their One Pager.
Prepare the content using our template, choose when you want to receive it (72 or 24 hours) and win over new investors and institutions with a professional document.
Ismael Barros 🙌🏼
If you are interested in strategic design, verbal and visual identity, physical and digital product design as well as its development, you are in the right place.