Hmmm, how do you make a corporate logo and a list of QuickBooks keyboard shortcuts eye-catching and attractive?
This was another design project from a print broker, who did the heavy lifting by determining the best product the customer could invest in was a mousepad. After all, the mousepad is highly visible, not only to the user but to anyone who looks at their desk, the client’s company information is always available, and it’s both a useful product—we all have computers—and for someone who uses QuickBooks all the time having those shortcuts handy is invaluable, much better than a piece of paper that clutters up the desk.
I was given the corporate logo and slogan as art and a sample page from a workbook showing the most common shortcuts.
I immediately knew that I’d be using those colors—marine blue and grass green, you surely wouldn’t lose that on your desk! And even though these are printed digitally and full color can be used, I wanted to use the clarity of those two colors in part because they are so striking but also to keep the clean and neat look that I associate with accounting software and other materials—really, take a look at the packaging some time!
And in the end, attractive or not, this is a useful object and needs to fulfill that purpose. This would be text heavy with the lists of shortcuts and I didn’t want to introduce any extraneous elements or any background patterns that would make this difficult to read.
I went through the lists of QuickBooks shortcuts and determined the ones I found most useful, but also asked a few friends who use it professionally which ones they found most useful. Then I applied one of the old techniques I had learned in my direct mail typesetting days for organizing a lot of content in an easily usable format and set the text in blocks with stand-out headers; the green background is eye-catching, but it’s darned difficult to read smaller text on top of it.
One change I made to a logical layout for content had more to do with the “other” purpose of the mousepad. I initially had the logo in the bottom right, but, most people being right-handed, that would mean the logo would be covered by their hand. I put the most common shortcuts there, ones that are pretty universal in addition to QuickBooks, and the logo in the upper left where it would nearly always be seen. I just knew that green had to be the border though!
In addition to the mousepad, the customer also decided to have microfiber cloths printed, handy for cleaning your computer screen or your glasses and the screen of any electronic device. No one would use these for the shortcuts, of course, so they just needed to have the logo. I loved that green background and knew I’d use it for this, but the logo just faded into it so I resorted to the blue-outlined white box for the logo.
The mousepad is 7″ x 8″, the microfiber cloth is 6″ x 6″.