Design is everywhere and everyday potential customers are interacting with your brand through your packaging, logo, signage, apps, advertisements, etc. Graphic design is a communication tool that speaks about your brand in the absence of an actual person to do so. It’s a point of contact between people and the brand. When done well, it can draw people in and when executed poorly, it will repel. Design is a powerful tool that can tremendously impact how your business is perceived.
What is graphic design?
According to AIGA, “Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with a visual and textual component.”
In branding, design brings together various communication systems: business cards, logos, adverts, etc. and turns them into a visual system that is unique to that brand. Below are a few benefits of good design:
Tell your story:
Design is a storytelling tool and it’s a way for brands to tell their unique story and differentiate themselves from competitors. It’s a way of conjuring an idea of your brand in the minds of others. Think of the Apple logo – it doesn’t explicitly say “computers” but it does communicate simplicity and sophistication. Everything from the typeface, to the monochrome colour palette works together to tell Apple’s story of uncluttered and simple design.
No business is the sole provider of a product or service; everyone is competing for the attention of their current and potential consumers, whilst trying to rise above the noise. Brands that have consistent and clear design, differentiate themselves from their competitors by looking and feeling different. Take Adidas and Nike for example, they’re both sports apparel giants competing for the same group but have both managed to maintain distinct identities. Nike owns the swoosh while Adidas has it’s 3 stripes – both are iconic in their own right. Each has a visual language that sets them apart from one another and thousands of other sports apparel brands.
People like pretty things and remember things that are attractive and eye-catching. Brands should be consistently well curated across all of their platforms to ensure that that the brand looks well-considered and professional, at all times.
According to this article on Canva, consumers are actually more trusting of organisations with well designed websites and are more likely to spend more time on that website, as well as return to it. We live in a digital world, with many brands vying for the attention of the same group of consumers and consumers know that they have options and they have the means to explore them. So why discount your brand by presenting it poorly? Even if you have the superior product – many consumers will go to another company, simply because it’s better presented.
Designers know how to draw the eye of consumers to important details to sway or influence decision making which can result in conversions. Beyond that, the culmination of all of your consumer facing design actually works together to position the brand positively in the mind of the consumer. By having a look and feel that is consistent across all platforms you create a brand that makes a great first impression, a brand that’s memorable, that consumers can trust and sets itself apart. These attributes combined all inspire consumers spending.
Nothing man-made appears without a cover, a label or some form of packaging. We are lured into reading the book with the graphic portrayal of a murder mystery on the cover. We become familiar with the label of our favourite wine and know to look for the meticulously crafted wordmark on the shelf. Millions recognise the carefully curved ‘C’ of Coca Cola or the iconic 4 colours that give Google an identity. These products and brands rely on graphic design to craft their iconic symbols and memorable visual styles. Audiences will consciously, or subconsciously, be influenced by the visual cues brands portray. Your cereal box, bank card, building signage and advert is made up of a collection of graphic design elements. These elements should have a well crafted, consistent and considered appearance that will build a strong brand image.
Design isn’t a skill that you want to overlooked or underrated. Good design can only add value to your brand and bring your organisation closer to its goals. Does your brand look and feel like a winner?
Visit our Behance page to see how HKLM has used design to help our clients differentiate themselves in the market.