This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

“A great design can’t be great if it doesn’t end up reaching its audience”

If people aren’t sharing/talking about your design, then it’s failed its first basic step: creating an impact. Most designers are so enamored (in a good way, obviously) with the idea of creation that they forget the next logical step – ensuring that the design reaches as many people as it can. The one secret you need to know, whether you’re a designer, a creator, a maker, a studio, or even a company looking to get eyeballs on your work… is to make your design project easy to share with others. The way you do it is simple – create a Press Kit.

A Press Kit or a Media Kit is basically a kit/page/folder that contains high-resolution images, videos, GIFs of your design, and a written document describing your project in detail. It’s the basic raw material for journalists, bloggers, PR teams, marketers, and content creators to help them promote and broadcast your work. When people talk about your work, people notice your work. It’s that simple.

This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

How To Make A Press Kit?

You know how a picture’s worth a thousand words? The press kit is quite literally those thousand words. Instead of leaving your work up to everyone’s interpretation, a Press Kit helps people understand your work so that they can then share it with others. It’s pretty much routine in the media world to have a press kit before writing about any project – the press kit (also known as the media kit) has three important aspects to it: Words, Images, and Videos. Every article you read online (or even offline), every social media post, every reel or TikTok is made up of these three things – Words, Images, and Videos. These three aspects are firmly within your control when you’re the creator, whether it’s a piece of furniture, an app, an electric vehicle, or any product/service/experience. Building a press kit to go with your creation is a great way of helping shape that narrative.

So how do you build a press kit? Simply collect all the information related to your project and present it in text form. On the side, also give people the option to view/download/share high-resolution images and videos regarding your project. You could compile all of these into a compressed folder (a .zip attachment in your email), or make them available via cloud storage or even directly on your website. The latter is a great way to track how many people access the press kit, giving you a unique metric to measure reach.

This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

What To Include In Your Press Kit?

There are three aspects to a press kit – Words, Images, and Videos. The quantity and the emphasis on these three mediums is entirely up to you, but it’s essential to include a combination of all three aspects in your kit. The ‘Words’ element of the press kit is referred to as a press release, it contains all the information people need to know about your project. Hypothetically, you explain the background, the process/intent, the end result, the features, the human context, and other details like pricing and availability. Press releases also end with a note on the creator, giving media personnel a background on you so that they can use it to craft their narrative.

The words or text form the backbone of your press release, but arguably, the images and videos are what grab the attention of people in the first place. Your press kit needs to have great, high-resolution images to attract viewers, and preferably even a video to help people see your product in action, or get a sense of your product’s usage/features/background. The images need to be high-resolution for a variety of reasons – for starters, it just makes sense to not have blurry images in your press kit. Media outlets hate publishing bad-quality images because it reflects directly on their brand. Besides, sometimes a journalist/writer will crop a part of your image to focus on an element, so having good-quality images definitely goes a long way. Besides, search engines prioritize articles with great-quality media, so you want to make the best of that algorithm.

Tips And Tricks For Improving Your Existing Press Kit

As an ex-designer who’s been in the design+tech blogging world for nearly a decade, I think it’s time I share a few tips and tricks to help you build a stellar press kit.

Aspect Ratios – The Not-So-Secret Way To Easily Improve Your Kit

Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have mattered so much, but we’re now in an age of multiple aspect ratios. For years, landscape images and videos were the gold standard, but given the dawn of social media, a lot has changed. Landscape images and videos are still an absolute necessity, but they’re now a form of ‘legacy’ media. Portrait or vertical images and videos dominate apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube Shorts, which people spend most of their time on, and if you want to play it safe, the Square image reigns supreme, working well everywhere, from print to online use, and even on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (X), Pinterest, and Instagram. Make sure your press kit contains images of all aspect ratios, making it easy for everyone from journalists to influencers to broadcast and share.

This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

Always consider multiple aspect ratios for your press kit so that your work can be viewed on multiple devices

The Human Context

This may sound simple, but nothing makes a product more relatable/understood than actually showing it being used by a human. Flashy renders only go so far – if you’re designing for humans, you should show humans in your media too. An image or a video of a human using your product demonstrates a few things – it shows scale, so people know how big/small your product is, but it also acts as a proof of concept, showing that your product is real, and not a digital rendering.

The ‘Hero’ Image

Books have covers, movies have posters, YouTube videos have thumbnails, and press kits have hero images. The hero image is an image that highlights your product while also creating curiosity or awe. It could be an image at a dramatic angle (especially for cars), showing your product in a dynamic view. Conversely, if your product is best demonstrated through actual usage, a photo of your product in use could be the hero image. It’s vital to make your product the most important subject of your image, so that it’s the first thing people see as they’re scrolling through the internet. Try to play with blurry backgrounds, vibrant images, or somewhat sensationalized imagery to help your hero image stand out. It’s important to remember, your hero image is about the hero – your product. Make your product big and visible, be clear, and try not to clutter your image with too much detail. Hint, if your product needs to be opened to show its functionality (like a folding knife), make sure you consider that too. This hero image will play a vital role for media organizations, allowing them to use it as cover photos, thumbnails, etc. A good hero image can sometimes completely transform your press kit, bringing more eyeballs to your work.

This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

This photo of Motorola’s Bending Phone shows the power of ‘Human Context’ and ‘Hero Image’. It’s eye-catching yet explanatory, showing how the phone bends around your wrist.

The Text – More Is Always Better

Popular consensus will have you believe that with text, you have to be brief, to the point, and engaging. That’s true for almost all forms of writing, but not so much for press releases. Your press release is technically research material, so it NEEDS to be as detailed as possible. Include as much of your process in it, share all your findings (if a writer is viewing your press kit, chances are they’re definitely planning on writing about your project, so don’t worry about driving them away). Good writers love a lot of context because it gives them enough material to choose from. Pepper your release with interesting quotes that the writer can attribute to you as well, it helps get you visibility along with your work.

Get Yourself Visibility Along With Your Work

The press kit may be for your project, but ultimately, you want some of that spotlight on yourself too. Make sure the press release has an “About Me” section at the bottom. Add links to your website and social media that blogs/articles can use to tag/hyperlink you in their written material… and provide an email ID and phone number at the bottom to help writers get in touch with you just in case they want an interview. A press kit should elevate your design as well as your own profile so that people remember you when you launch your next project. Makes sense, right?

This Ridiculously Simple Trick Can Transform Your Good Designs Into Great Designs

How To Distribute Your Press Kit?

Once you’re done building the press kit, this is honestly the easiest part. The press kit can be made available in a variety of ways – through emails. Most creators proactively share their work with people from the media, and personally, as a journalist, nothing feels better than to have good projects land right in my lap! You can reach out to prospective writers/reviewers/influencers via email or on social media with a .zip file or a link to DropBox, Google Drive, or any cloud storage. A great practice is to just have your press kit right at the bottom of your project page too, allowing journalists to quickly download the assets they need to write about your work. If you want to go a step further, embedding tracking into your outreach or your kits can help you understand how many people have viewed your message, checked the press kit, etc. Ideally, you also want to set up a Google alert with your or your project’s name on it so that you can find out when your work’s been shared online… and when that does happen, be sure to reach out to the author and thank them for sharing your work! It helps build a relationship because they’re sure to remember you when you reach out with your next project!

Remember, if nobody’s talking about your work, it’s failed its first step – creating an impact. A press kit makes it easy to generate that buzz so that people flock to your work and share it with others.

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