There’s a reason that when you scroll through social media or flip through a magazine that you find your eye naturally drawn to brighter, more image heavy posts and articles.
If you aren’t utilising graphic design to its full potential, then you could be missing out on a huge customer base. It’s something you come across daily in your business, no matter which area you work in. From logos to website assets, to business cards and social media pictures, all of these wouldn’t be possible without graphic design. But, what is graphic design?
To beat out competition, companies are getting increasingly creative with design to stand out and attract the eye of potential consumers. With websites only getting bigger and online marketing more active, there’s been an increasing need for standout graphics and assets in order to target an audience effectively.
Are you keeping up? Let’s find out.
What is Graphic Design?
Let’s split it down into the two components of the phrase.
‘Design’ is simple enough. It means that whatever was made was created to fulfil a specific purpose and to deliver that message artistically. The ‘graphic’ in Graphic Design essentially means that any visual assets will be sharp and accurate. Put them together and you basically have anything visually created for you to help either advertise or target your audience better.
The process usually involves a client and a graphic designer. Whether in house or contracted, a graphic designer is the best person to get to create anything visual for you and not just because it’s their job.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that couldn’t be further from the case for design.
Unfortunately, history is full of brands that didn’t make it or that simply disappeared into the ether. The reason? Poor design. They were ugly, boring, dated, or just simply unremarkable. A professional will know which shapes and colours will work well and how to structure them on a page. There’s more to graphic design than just the image itself. There’s how it needs to be laid out to be most visually appealing and, more importantly, memorable.
How they do this will depend entirely on the desired product, as there are different rules of style for a logo then say, packaging or a poster.
What Makes Good Design?
A good graphic designer will know their stuff.
Have you ever wondered why some colours are linked to specific emotions? Or why some companies are trying to trademark certain shades for their sole use? Image is a powerful tool and a professional will know exactly what your design requires.
There are a few things good corporate design should be:
Innovative. Is it unique? Is it something that wows, or does it already look like one hundred other pieces of design?
Honest.Nothing you do should be misleading about your business, even if it’s an image. Not only is this manipulative, but it’s also illegal.
Long lasting.We all want designs that are going to stand the test of time. While no one can look into the future, avoid basing designs around current trends as those fade fast.
Aesthetic.At the end of the day, the design needs to look good. If you’ve done your research, taken your time and hired an expert, then you shouldn’t have to worry.
Where Should You be Using It?
In short? Everywhere.
Okay, we don’t mean that literally as not every piece of your work will need a design element to it, but more places than you might think could really benefit.
Your website could be the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business, so you better put your best foot forward. While you may have a web designer on board to build your site, they aren’t the same as a graphic designer and probably won’t be able to make you a standout visual identity. A web designer will create the website itself, but a graphic designer will come up with the logo, colour scheme, fonts, images etc. to go on it. Look at any website and see all the different design elements there are on it already. From pictures in the headers, to unique icons, to videos or animations on the website, they’ll all have been created by a graphic designer’s hand.
It almost goes without saying that having unique and fun graphics for social media is a given. Not only do Facebook posts with images get twice as much engagement, but you’re also going to need clean and well-made assets for your avatars and cover photos. If you go on a profile with poorly designed or pixilated images, subconsciously that is going to reflect on the standard of their work, even if they aren’t in a design-heavy industry.
While there are millions for free stock images out there that you can use, they aren’t going to capture the unique essence of your business. When creating a brand, usually you’ll have what are known as brand guidelines. These will cover the colours, fonts and other graphic elements to be used when anything carries your brand. For example, there’s a reason anything to do with Facebook is in that font with that specific shade of blue. If you’re thinking about creating your own brand or rebranding your current business, by working with a graphic designer you can come up with a set of guidelines that best represent the message of your business.
Graphic design is something we see in our lives every day, but how much of it do you remember? When it comes to your business, you want to do all you can to make your brand stand out visually, so it’s seared into the memory of those who come across it. After all, what’s the point of putting so much hard work into getting it off the ground if no one is going to remember it?