7 March 2022

Thought leadership
design pointers

Design ideas for thought leadership materials

There’s already a lot of thought leadership content in the world. While what you’ve got to say may be interesting, all too often the message is hidden behind dull presentation. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is through inspired design.

Follow these tips to give your content the best chance of being read.


Choose your theme – Your thought leadership could be repurposed in many ways. Choosing a visual theme will ensure all your materials are on-brand. A coherent theme will also reinforce the message and increase engagement.


Break up text with data visualisation – Because they’re in-depth pieces of content, thought leadership materials contain lots of text. Consider if some of this information could be distilled in more visually appealing ways, such as through infographics or pictographs.


Don’t be anonymous – Part of being a thought leader is putting yourself out there. You’re advancing the discussion, so use anecdotes and include a picture and contact details of key contributors. This makes it easy to continue the discussion.


Design for the chosen medium – Rather than create one set of images to use across all mediums, create bespoke ones dependent on the document. Flat infographics for print can be animated for the web. An image in a white paper should be cropped differently for social media. Get your assets in order for maximum engagement.


Continually reinvent your material – A lot of time goes in to researching and writing thought leadership. To then package it in the same way as previous documents is to do it a disservice. Thought leadership is supposed to be innovative, so incorporate current trends into your design.


Make it easy to share – What do you think your audience are more likely to share on social media? A plain white paper, or an infographic or meme. Plan ahead, and make your content shareable.


Keep it simple – Avoid the urge to go over the top. Aim for simple elegance rather than over the top graphics that cause a distraction. Your audience is busy, don’t give them any reason to leave your content

While what you’ve got to say may be interesting, all too often the message is hidden behind dull presentation. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is through inspired design.

Download your guide to thought leadership design

Want to know the secrets to excellent thought leadership design?

Download our free eBook to discover:

• How to create a thought leadership strategy
• How to promote your material for maximum engagement
• The proven JDJ design process


JDJ Creative are experts in thought leadership design

JDJ Creative helps businesses to become their industry’s go-to resource through authoritative visual storytelling and original thought leadership design techniques.

If you’re looking to produce insightful thought leadership, challenge norms and reach your marketing goals and are interested in partnering with us to create your next piece of thought leadership, please feel free to get in touch for an informal conversation.

Together we can create material that inspires.


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so let’s see if together we can bring your vision to life.