In an earlier post I mentioned that design and graphics were not as important as the titles and content of the print material that you use. Many people would disagree with that; however, I believe that to be a very true statement. On the other hand, you can not entirely ignore the need for color and the use of charts and graphs when necessary.
When you are looking for a new car, you already know what you need and have a good idea of what vehicle you will buy. For me, I know that I need a minivan, with 5 kids to haul around I should maybe buy a bus, but you take the time to look over the shiny Prowler or Z3. Why not. It's pretty and caught your attention, you may even drive it, but it does not have what you need and falls by the wayside in the final decision.
Your sales letters and brochures will suffer the same fate, if they are pretty but do not deliver on content, also. You need the eye catching pop of color graphics and logos, but you must also deliver on the exact content your customer needs. I underlined your customer, because you can learn the basics, but you have to know your customer base if you are going to be successful. How to get an understanding of that customer base is the subject of an upcoming post.