Our online and offline world is saturated with images, graphics, photographs, animation, and video. We see evidence of the effectiveness of good graphic design all around us – yet it’s something many take for granted. It’s something that the average person barely even notices – yet it’s a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to brand recognition and marketing.
If you think about it, nearly every aspect of our lives is influenced by graphic design. We make decisions on what we eat, the car we drive, and the magazines we read purely by a brand’s logo and imagery. I have friends who refuse to eat baked beans if the Heinz logo isn’t on the tin!
Yet for businesses, particularly small businesses, brand design is often an afterthought. It’s just not something they’re willing to invest in. I believe that’s at their peril – if you can get your graphic design right and make your branding work well, then every piece of marketing you produce becomes instantly recognisable, and that is where the real magic happens.
What is graphic design?
In simple terms, graphic design is using visual tools to communicate. Subconsciously we are wired to seek out colour, shape and image before we even think about speech or written words. It’s important to remember that no matter what kind of marketing material you’re working with, the very first thing that people will notice is the graphic imagery, not the text – and that’s what’s going to make people stop and look.
Graphic design is vital in grabbing people’s attention – you’ve just got to know how to get it right.
Graphic design does boost business.
If graphic design communicates a message, then using it as a branding tool builds trust in your audience.
In the instance of online content, for example, providing you’re sending out plenty of quality content across mediums like social media, email lists etc., when people are constantly bombarded with stuff, making yours of great quality AND instantly recognisable is key to your success.
When people see your imagery consistently, they get to know you, they start to like you and seek you out – and then guess who they’re going to look for when they’re ready to buy what you have? Clue: it won’t be the person who produces boring content accompanied by generic, inconsistent Canva-style graphics.
Graphic design kills the competition.
Nowadays, everyone is a graphic designer thanks to tools like Canva, and everyone’s a photographer thanks to the phones in their pockets. It’s so easy for people to take a photo or grab an image online to use in their branding and marketing – but actually, very few people put thought into what they’re doing.
Good, professional graphic design is much more than that. As designers, we have vast knowledge about things like colour theory, composition, and even font design. The average person isn’t going to know how graphics will work, on a psychological level, to get their message across and persuade people to look at their products/website/brand.
And that’s exactly why most brands you see on social media are so easy to ignore. They don’t stand out – and they don’t know how to. Their graphics are all over the place, and every single one is different from the last – there’s nothing coherent about the branding they’re using if they’re using it at all.
In truth, graphic design isn’t a cost to your business – it’s an investment. I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to get it right.
Where to begin
If you’ve invested in your website, chances are you’ve already got the beginnings of a brand story. Perhaps you’ve already sorted a logo and have some kind of colour- and font theme. This will give you a strong marketing backbone, and it’s where you look for the tone and voice of the rest of your marketing.
If you haven’t got any of that yet, & something can help. Contact us for advice on creating your branding identity, and we can work with you to bring your vision to fruition.