The Content Bureau writes and designs a menagerie of content-rich assets, including private placement memoranda (PPM). Naturally, we think that PPM design matters. But it really does—and how much depends on your goals. Do you just want your PPM to exemplify the professional, results-oriented way your firm does business? Or do you want your PPM design to stand out?
Let’s say your firm is wildly successful and you’re pressed for time. Perhaps your offering is likely to have investors clamoring to get in even if your PPM consists only of terms and conditions, tables of past performance, and two paragraphs about your investment methodology. You’ll still want your PPM to cover some basics of good design for a longer document, especially if you plan to print it:
- Choose a readable font—even for tables. (“Readable” means large enough and dark enough for someone over 40 to read for a sustained period.)
- Use generous amounts of white space because a page crammed with text can look unappealing and sloppy.
- Avoid using a right-justified document with an overly large font; this leads to very strange lines of copy when you use longer words.
- Use sidebars and simple graphics, such as pie charts, to break up long sections of copy.
- Choose a few accent colors for charts and subheads, and use the accents consistently throughout.
If you want your PPM to pop, do all of the above—plus a little extra. Go for numerous and interesting graphics. Images on every few pages can help lead readers through a longer document. You also might want to try creating a more sophisticated layout overall. (This is hard to describe, but feel free to contact us for examples.)
You also can spice up the most overlooked element of PPMs: the cover. PPM covers tend to be very conservative, so you don’t have to get crazy to stand out. Something as simple as a clever use of stock or exclusive imagery will help your PPM rise above the pile.