“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs’ words resonate in today’s saturated marketing world. If your marketing content isn’t getting the results you want, however, it may be time to take a closer look at your designs. Art Director Shelley Carpenter shares 5 principles of how to make design work for your company.
No. 1: Alignment
Alignment within design leads to a balanced overall image that is visually appealing, as well as one that creates connections between related components. A good rule of thumb is that a customer’s eye should never bounce between different elements. A good designer uses alignment to guide the eye to key information. Learn more about how alignment can be used here.
No. 2: Consistency
Only consistency forms associations between design elements and branding, allowing viewers to recognize a brand easily and quickly. Using the same type of backgrounds, colors and font choices is integral. Think of the Golden Arches. Whether you spot them on a billboard, a display ad, a magazine article or a commercial, you immediately think of McDonald’s. Their branding is cohesive.
No. 3: Imagery
A lackluster design almost always starts with lackluster imagery. You may not have the budget for a photo shoot, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a random stock photo that only vaguely fits your company’s messaging. Search out an image that on its own, or with a few modifications, can enhance your design. Remember, it takes less than 50 milliseconds for a customer to form a first impression. The right image makes those milliseconds count.
No. 4: White Space
Less is more, so be wary of information overload from cramming too many details into an image. A good designer helps you find the balance between must-have information and white space. By limiting details, your customer will more easily understand your message and more quickly engage with it. White space also allows the customer to grasp the facts in a logical manner.
No. 5: Define Who You Are
Even the best design falls short when it doesn’t support the business it’s advertising. What is your business model and your goals? What type of designs have you used in the past? A good designer delves into a company to ensure the finished design reinforces what the brand is all about. For example, Target’s design aesthetics convey an attitude, as well as the hip items it offers for the individual and home. When a competitor tries to imitate this style, the consumer often thinks first of Target. Design must remain true to your brand, not someone else’s.
Good design should look good and work for you. Take a moment to examine your marketing content and how it has employed (or not employed) these five principles to communicate with customers. If you want to learn more about how to better use design in your marketing, contact us today for help.