If you’re looking into commissioning video as part of your marketing strategy then it’s highly likely that you will soon find yourself discussing the on-screen ‘look and feel’ of the films. And this usually involves graphics. Graphics are designed to complement your content and reinforce your marketing message. They should help to tell your story and explain your services but they should not get in the way. So don’t let your production company go overboard. Remember that it’s not the 1970s and your corporate film is not Top of the Pops.
Zany effects are fine for YouTube comedy videos or retro shows; they’re far from OK for a film that showcases your company.
Here are a few more of our top tips for using onscreen graphics to add gloss and professionalism to even the most basic video:-
Firstly, decide on what kind of graphics you want. Any production company worth its salt will employ editors who have a working knowledge of Adobe’s After Effects or Apple’s Motion. These software packages should satisfy nearly all of your graphic needs. 3D or CGI graphics can also be commissioned but – before you do – decide whether they are really necessary and worth the extra cost. The rule of thumb is: the more complicated the graphics, the more it’ll cost you.
Our next tip is make sure the graphics reflect your company image and are consistent. Give your production company your brand guidelines. With simple guidelines, simple graphics can be created so that the video will sit seamlessly
into your website using the same colours and fonts.
So what graphics will you need? The first thing you’ll need is a ‘sting’. Nothing to do with 80’s chart – toppers The Police, it’s an industry term for a graphic intro that can include an animated version of your company logo. It can be created and then added to the beginning and the end of every video you commission. Such as this..
You can also incorporate your logo into the film by having it as watermark or a ‘bug’ that’s permanently on the screen (usually in the corner). Also, you should ask your production company to create name straps (sometimes called lower
thirds) to identify people and their positions within the videos. These should be used every time a film is produced that uses sound-bites.
Our final tip is an obvious one. Make sure the viewer can actually read the information that’s on-screen. Do remember that it’s just as likely that your film will be watched on a smart phone as a widescreen computer monitor. So the font should be a decent size and the information should appear on the screen for a reasonable amount of time. Before you sign off on an edit, watch your carefully crafted video on a range of different devices. If you can’t read the graphics on a phone then your potential customer won’t be able to either. So ask your friendly production company for a re-edit, it won’t take them long and shouldn’t cost you any more money.