You Don't Have to be a Graphic Design Artist to Create a Strong Visual Message, But it Sure Helps to Have a Guide
A Strong Visual Message Works!
Graphic images vie for our attention daily. Our response to these images is often immediate and visceral. Based on what we see, we interpret the images as beautiful, lovable, dangerous, trustworthy, or even disgusting. Our emotional response is powerful and always based on our instinctive feelings.
As a business, you want to be recognized instantly when a prospective customer sees your logo. Additionally, you want the customer to imagine or feel the benefits of purchasing from you. That, in a nutshell, is the secret of great visual design – the ability to inspire positive feelings about making a purchase.
Your Visual Brand Identity
Let's explore visual identity and what it means to you and your business. Seth Godin, the world-famous marketing guru maintains that,"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another." Basically, your brand must communicate value so that customers associate positive feelings with it.
Your visual identity then, consists of the images that sum up the public perception of your brand.
So, what reaction do you want to elicit in your potential customers? Your brand is about a specific "set of expectations." How you express those expectations is the definition of your brand's visual identity.
Learn the Tricks of the Visual Trade
Anyone can create a nice logo, download nice graphics, choose nice colors, and then spend a few hours putting together a nice "visual package." Many people think variety is good, so they use one set of colors and shapes for an ad, a different set for flyers, and a still different set for the company brochure — just because "variety is the spice of life." However, major corporations with million-dollar marketing budgets don't do that. And you shouldn't, either.
Instead, you'll want to elicit the same thoughts, feelings, and memories every single time someone views your print material. Great design plus consistency are the secrets to visual success.
So, What is Great Design?
There are basically five elements that separate "great" from "nice." They are:
Iconography is all about the images and symbols that sum up and communicate your brand to your buyers. The unique or superlative features that deliver value to your customers are summed up in the science of iconography. Anyone can download pictures of smiling people, successful teams, and dollar signs. However, your business is more than that. Icons should be universal and accessible to everyone. Powerful iconography displays your organization's values clearly and powerfully.
The color palette you choose must do two things:
- Represent your organization's standards and value proposition.
- Resonate with your target buyers – both existing and future.
Use your "primary color palette" for your key marketing materials and, if necessary, choose a "secondary palette" for special projects. A majority of businesses work with only a primary color palette. If you'd like a secondary color palette, we can discuss attractive options that will resonate with your customers.
According to popular convention, people remember 80% of what they see, but 20% of what they read. Thus, your images should reinforce your brand message clearly. The images you use may be brighter, lighter, bolder, or more subtle, depending on the particular marketing piece. However, all of your images must reinforce why your products are trustworthy, effective, and distinctive.
Logo and Wordmark
Logos are powerful marketing tools. Nike's logo is memorable and Amazon's is deceptively simple, yet enigmatic. The arrow literally goes from "A" to "Z," but what does that mean? Designing a logo is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The right logo is a marriage of complementary fonts, shapes, and colors.
You may choose to forgo a symbolic logo for a motto/ statement that perfectly sums up your organization's value proposition. This will be your organization's"wordmark," unique to you but recognizable to all.
Letter size, shape, intensity, and spacing constitute the elements of font. Your fonts should do three things:
- Encourage people to read your marketing materials.
- Highlight the benefits of your brand.
- Visually complement your images, colors, and icons, so everything "works" together.
Your visual identity is a powerful marketing statement that communicates the value of your brand to your marketplace. It sums up what your business values and how it delivers on its promises. Therefore, it must send a consistent message to everyone who sees your ads, brochures, leaflets, posters, and business cards.
Not quite sure what your options are? Gurnee Printing is an expert at helping businesses like yours develop and deliver a strong brand message.