From the IFD Mailbag …
Tips on Creating a Financial Layout

Hello, everyone! Let's see if I can answer some of the questions about being a graphic designer that might be on your mind too. First, this one from Jamie ..

When doing a financial layout, who supplies the charts and graphs?

Sometimes, the client will give you a chart ready to place into the layout (maybe from an outside study or report or from something that was generated by one of the company's departments). But often the client will supply you with the raw data and numbers and you'll have to turn that into a graphic that fits the design you are working on.

If the client supplies you with an image of a graph or chart, make sure the resolution is high enough to print (usually 300dpi).

If you are supplied with raw data, confirm with your client the kind of graphic he wants (pie-chart, line or bar-chart, etc.) and how detailed it should be. Provide a headline for the chart and a legend (large enough to be read easily) that explains what it is illustrating. Always ask yourself if you have displayed the data in the most effective and easy-to-understand way.

Generating good charts can be quite time-consuming, although you will become faster with practice. Make sure to take this into account when calculating how much time you expect to spend on a project.

And Hans has two questions for us …

I just read in The Golden Thread that it's a good idea for copywriters to include their contact information (name, address, etc.) as a header on each page of the promotion. Please advise me if I should do this for my graphic design assignments, since I am just beginning to work on send-in assignment #3 for the Graphics Design program.

Another question: On page #1 of the “Main Street Millionaire” spec assignment, it says under the heading of Materials, “CRE: Standard with or without message burst.” Could you please clarify what CRE stands for, as well as the meaning of the rest of this information?
– Hans S.

You're going to like the answer to your first question, Hans. Putting contact information on every page applies only to copywriters, not graphic designers. Just provide your contact information on the cover sheet.

Now, for your second question …

CRE stands for “Customer Reply Envelope.” This is the envelope that accompanies some sales package. It's provided to make it easy for customers to return the order form. Usually, the CRE is pre-printed with the address. Sometimes, it has a message burst like “For Immediate Processing” or “Rush” to make it look more important or urgent.

Check out the Post Office website for helpful templates and info regarding different envelope specs and sizes.

That's it for now. Until next time …

Kristin Schwarz
Graphics Program Director

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Published: September 8, 2005

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