My first submission was rejected. Could you help me understand how to improve?

I wish the rejection email was a bit more descriptive. Here’s their text:

Thank you for your submission. We have completed our review of “Come Chill - Business Flyer Print Template” and unfortunately we found it isn’t at the quality standard required to move forward, and you won’t be able to re-submit this item again.

I’m guessing not being at the quality standard is their way of saying it doesn’t look good, but it makes me wonder if I missed something in the author guidelines or document settings.

If it’s not good enough, could you help me understand what I’m missing or ideas to improve?

If it was something simple such as document settings, or a quick fix, then they would issue a “Soft Rejection” and tell you exactly what the problem is before letting you submit it again. In this case, it was “Hard Rejected”. For these types of rejections they aren’t able to give a detailed explanation, simply because of the sheer number of submissions they have to go through every day, it just isn’t possible to give detailed feedback on every item while also keeping review times as low as they are.

As for the item itself, it’s pretty good. I especially like how the majority is unique design elements, rather than relying too much on photos like so many others do. For this reason alone I think you’re on the right track.

For me I think the two main issues would be that I’m not really sure exactly what this flyer is trying to achieve, and the hierarchy isn’t really clear with it all mostly being the same colour, and being overall quite flat.

You need to have a clear concept. Yes, you say it’s a corporate flyer, and the overall theme is “chill”, but what’s it for? A corporate event? A proposal? An advertisement? What is the diagram with the mountain trying to indicate? It’s hard to understand what I would use this for, it should be clear as to what it’s trying to show, especially when this sort of thing is likely going to be given to a wide variety of people who will mostly just use it to get some quick information.

I get that the theme is cold and chilly for the winter season, but at the same time it doesn’t feel welcoming, it feels cold. I think you should use some warm contrasting colours, such as yellow, orange, red, and pink, to help highlight the important things, and to draw more attention, perhaps even using the same gradient look, because right now with it all being the same blue/turquoise colours, it’s very plain and flat, so I’m not sure what’s important or where I should look. Plus having some warmer colours will look more inviting, almost as if it were indicating that the important stuff is warm and cozy in a cold and chilly environment.

It’s hard to critique the hierarchy without knowing what the flyer is about, so I think the first step would be to rework it so it sends a clear message. While also trying to use some different font styles, such as a serif font for titles, and sans-serif for body text. It looks to me like it’s all the same font family, just different weights, which also adds to the overall flatness.

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I really appreciate the detailed feedback! Thank you for taking the time to explain and review my work.

I understand their need for templated responses based on volume. I would think if they are performing manual reviews of every item, this means they are already spending at least a minute or two per review. I would expect it would take less than 15 seconds to write a bullet point or 2 giving a reason germane to the particular submission, but it’s probably not worth their effort in the long run.

So thank you for filling the gap for me.

I appreciate the detailed notes - you’re completely right, it is almost directionless. My thought was a sell sheet for a mountain ski resort or cottage rentals, but I didn’t convey that well. Even using actual titles instead of Lorem Ipsum might help.

Their email reply mentioned specifically to not submit this piece again: do you take that as a hard rule? Is reworking it and submitting out of the question? I’m currently thinking of taking your notes, revising, then submitting under a different name to avoid any automatic detection filters they might have.

Thank you again for taking the time.

You just have to make some substantial changes to be able to submit it again, which I think if you do what I mentioned, then it should be enough to be seen as a different item. They just don’t want you to make a few small edits and then upload the same item.

hi @XioxGraphix is right indeed … the fact of the matter is that i have pesonally never seen any technical reasons leading to a hard rejection except maybe in the logo category and there is nothing to do with this for sure … however i like much the harmony and the originality of what u have here and i understand that u maybe have felt that maybe there was something like this to justify the rejection. But, the fact of the matter is that u have several things to fix , improve or edit

1- typo
sorry but this is quite flat about it (when this is a major issue no matter what is the category where u are posting …), u should have more originality , variations and font combinations indeed as this is also bringing some other problems to the table , see point 2 …

2- hierarchy
as regard to what i have explained above indeed, the face of the matter is that u did not really manage to create a completely convincing hierarchy of information yet , playing with the elements that i told u there will simply help u to get additional relief and make sure that the important information pops out more if u get the job done properly.

3- contrast
do not take it lightly indeed, this is a major issue as this is a basic design principle … in addition, this is not only underlining what i pointed in point 2 but is also bringing some readability issues to the table

4- readability
make sure as much as possible that there is contrast enough between the background and texts on top of them , possible solutions are changing the colors or adding a very smooth shadow under texts (with low opacity) and / or making fonts bolder that they are easier to read in the end …

5- titles
apart from not popping out as expected for such a central element , it turns out to be too close from the upper edge and this gives people a feeling of “choking” or not being “breathing” enough …

6- logo
just decrease a bit the content but leave the logo more space as this is a very important element , branding is also what companies promoting are looking for , they want the brand to be easily identified i guess u can understand just this

But anyway u definitely have good skills and much of a good base to work with if u manage to fix all this , no doubt that the flyer will be accepted …

but think about it , it depends on the angle … a company offering people to chill out may have such an “introduction”

I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that those are the only two defining aspects to it, which still leaves a lot of questions as to what it’s about.

yes but does it really matter what is it for anyway … as long as some people feel like knowing what to do with what we offer … let’s face it we all know that people buy is sometimes really distorted afterwards , either from original goal and sometimes the graphic result …