It’s safe to say that we’re all aware graphic design is desired in most organizations. Although do we truly understand the importance of graphic design in business?
If you believe that your business can survive without compelling communications, think again.
In one way or another, you’ll need to visually communicate your product or service’s features, benefits, and differentiators to your target prospects and customers.
Google defines Graphic Design as ‘the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.’ We feel that’s far too vague and neglects to state the value that design adds to a business.
We’re going to propose a new definition of Graphic Design:
’The arrangement, organization, and manipulation of content, imagery, and graphic elements into compelling formats for both digital and print mediums. The clear communication of value, benefits, and reasons to believe in a brand’s product, service, or technology.’
Graphic Design is the development of visual communications that resonate with a specific target audience with an objective to create awareness, shape perceptions, increase market share, and elevate brands.
Ninety percent of the information transmitted in the human brain is visual so your business needs strong design in order to communicate its purpose.1 With 65% of the population categorized as ‘visual learners’, your money is well spent on formulating a visual approach to create a persona for your business.2
The main reason people prefer graphics and imagery over written text is primarily due to its speed of absorption. This is an extremely important component of consideration and also a major drawback concerning a long body of text.
Too much copy in an ad, for example, would require someone to dedicate far too much time to absorb what is trying to be said. According to 3M Research, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Strong graphics can instantly communicate a message, feeling, emotion, and value; sometimes in as quickly as one second.
There are several ways to help you grow and improve your business by utilizing well thought-out design in the right mediums. Check out our eight expert suggestions on how to successfully incorporate visual communications into your brand to fully understand the importance of graphic design in business today.
1. Custom Logo
A custom logo establishes credibility, creates brand recognition, and firmly positions your company within the marketplace. While there are many factors to building an impactful logo and visual identity, a major influence on your logo’s success is its color palette. Your brand’s choice of color scheme is one of the most crucial in determining how the public may interpret your business. If you’ve heard of color theory, you may know that certain color combinations create distinct perceptions and elicit emotions. Examining the market trends in your industry and understanding what colors your customers respond to, may make all the difference.
Considering the psychological effects that your branding has on prospects, your advertisements need to follow a similar set of guidelines. Among a sea of expertly-crafted ads, a poorly designed advert will easily become overlooked as noise. The chances that your ad will convert prospects without a hero image, strong graphic elements, and a clear call to action is slim. In advertising, or in any form of print or digital communications, your brand’s essence speaks louder than words. To find out which advertising medium is best for your business, check out our blog called Digital or Print Advertising: Which One’s Right For Me?
A strategically focused website must attract, engage, and convert visitors. Developing a successful site is impossible without considering the user’s experience and hierarchy of messaging. It’s important for your site to be intuitive and funnel prospects through in a predictable way. Clear messaging and conveniently placed call to actions are paramount. Think of the experience that you wish your visitors to have and try to make calculated design decisions that will move them from point A to B.
In order for your brand to dynamically engage prospects and existing customers, your site needs not only to be visually exciting, but ease of use is important. Just as is image optimization, page load times, and overall speed. Make sure that your website load time does not exceed 3 seconds. Take note that if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it’s faster than approximately 50% of the entire web. If your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it’s faster than almost 75% of the web!3 The most effective way to accomplish this is to partner with an experienced web and/or graphic design firm that can strategically develop a website that works best for your business.
4. Sales Collateral
A clean use of typography, appropriate imagery, and content formatting are only the foundation of the many factors your graphic designer will consider while developing your new brochure or catalog. Printing massive amounts of text and sourcing stock photos ‘as-is’ may dilute your brand and messaging. This can easily turn off prospects. Combining innovative folding techniques, binding options, paper textures, finishes, and weights can really make your sales collateral stand out. Learn in detail how to make your next sales catalog unique on our blog 10 Innovative Ways To Make Your Sales Catalog Pop!
5. Marketing Collateral
Graphic design optimizes your marketing efforts across all channels and is key to building a professional brand. Being consistent in your marketing collateral allows your brand to be easily recognizable and allows your customers and clients quickly get familiar with what your company has to offer. The comfortability that clients and customers get through consistent marketing will ultimately lead to credibility. Your brand should have a strong visual foundation to communicate its confidence in its offerings and expertise. This allows customers to engage with your business more frequently, in turn leading to stronger customer relationship management (CRM).
6. Social Media
By using graphic design, you are able to establish a consistent brand footprint across all social media platforms. Create an account on platforms where you feel your customer’s use most often. Try Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Google Plus, and Twitter, just to name a few. Using custom-branded graphics in your posts will tie your digital branding to your physical marketing collateral, leading to a cohesive brand identity. Branding your own graphics lets your audience become more interested in your business and curious to see what else will be posted in the future and therefore be more inclined to follow you on social media. Being in the age of ‘custom everything’ exemplifies the fact that people love interacting with the most unique and uncommon. Without proper branding, your page may fall prey to reposts by competing organizations that can cause potential threats to the authenticity and integrity of your brands’ voice. Take the initiative and invest in developing your own custom images and branded posts to spread your company’s presence across the internet. Find out the impact that digital marketing makes on your business by reading The Power of Digital Marketing.
In order to keep an audience engaged throughout a new presentation or pitch, you will need strategically structured and designed slides. This will be your secret weapon to winning the crowd over if paired with a smooth verbal delivery. Telling your story with enticing graphics that support your product or services’ benefits will help the sell. Be sure that the flow of the presentation is clear and concise with hard start/stops to denote a new topic or chapter. For more information on how to develop presentations that convert, check out 7 Tips For Building Powerful Presentation Decks.
8. Packaging Design
Since most consumers shop with their eyes, a product sitting on a store display or shelf can only be considered as good as the label or packaging that encases it. The appeal of that label or package is made possible solely through the expertise of a team of graphic designers. Any product that your company plans on launching should be uniquely designed with your target audience’s aesthetic, taste, wants, and needs in mind so you could quickly grab their attention. It’s important to leave a lasting impression through your packaging, and it should be developed by experts that understand branding and visual hierarchy. In order for your business to compete on-shelf, it needs to memorably convince consumers that they are missing out if they leave the store without your product.
- “We Are 90% Visual Beings.” Infographic Design Agency – Ernesto Olivares, 14 Jan. 2016, ernestoolivares.com/2013/01/11/we-are-90-visuals-beings/.
- Vakos, Patricia. “Why the Blank Stare? Strategies for Visual Learners.” Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc., www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html.
- Bird, Cami. “How Fast Is Fast Enough? Page Load Time & Your Bottom Line.” Semrush, SEMrush, 25 Nov. 2016, www.semrush.com/blog/how-fast-is-fast-enough-page-load-time-and-your-bottom-line/.
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HOW WE CAN HELP
My team and I at Costello Creative Group have been helping businesses solve communication challenges since 2012. Prior to starting my firm, I spent eight years gaining powerful insights as an Art Director supporting global Marketing & Account teams for one of the largest Flavor & Fragrance organizations in the world. CCG’s focus in the F&F sector came naturally, but we continue to work cross-industry to maintain our diversity in both our thinking and creative approach. We partner long-term with clients to support them with everything from ad campaigns, digital marketing, branding and visual identity initiatives, to sales collateral, packaging, sales kits, and trade show materials.