An old adage states that a single picture is worth a thousand words, and this idea rings especially true in the world of graphic design and marketing. It is through the talent of designers that messages about products, news, events, businesses, and charities are successfully transmitted to the general public. Without this delicate balance between information and art, even the simplest messages could get lost in a cacophony of color and shape. A career as a graphic designer for marketing can be extremely rewarding, but in order to do it effectively, there are some basic concepts that must be understood.
Logos can make or break the identity of a company, especially if they’re too similar to logos that already exist. The same can be said for any type of graphic image; if it’s too close to something that’s been done hundreds of times before, the reader or consumer may dismiss it. Good marketing must be memorable to be most effective. Originality is the solution to this problem, but it doesn’t always have to mean coming up with entirely new ideas. Some of the best visual designs have been remixes, created by integrating elements from other sources of inspiration in a new or innovative way.
Color dominates the natural world. It is cemented into the human experience, especially in memories, and can affect an individual’s immediate mood. While certain people may have a personal preference for one color over another, color has been used in marketing for a long enough time that certain color combinations can automatically convey a message. Red, for example, evokes a sense of energy and spirit when used in an ad. Blue, by contrast, suggests an identity more strongly rooted in dependability and sincerity.
In the field of graphic design, different colors have different relationships in terms of how well they work together. Analogous colors, such as yellow, green, and blue, are found immediately next to each other on a color wheel and create harmonious, smooth designs. Complementary colors are colors which exist opposite each other on the wheel, and usually provide the most striking contrasts. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the designer to figure out which color or combination of colors will be most effective in conveying an intended message.
Whenever information is conveyed through text, typography plays a role. Different fonts can mean the difference between easily reading an article and reflecting on it afterward or giving up halfway through with a sudden headache. In marketing, a font can convey a mood and a company’s image at the same time. If delivering a fair chunk of information, simple, easy-to-read fonts are far and away the most effective at keeping a reader engaged.
Decorative fonts, however, can be used for the main tagline or a simple, single-word message. These fonts are much more complex and can be created to imitate the writing or print of any time period or traditional writing tool. A flyer advertising a new art exhibit might make use of a font that looks like brush strokes to convey the title of the event. A single-page magazine spread may only offer one word, but with a large, colorful, intricately detailed font, it’s a word that will carry weight and impact the reader. The importance of typography cannot be understated, especially when creating Web content, and a good graphic designer will take the time to learn about the nuances of different font families and how to use them to their fullest potential.
The world of graphic design and marketing can’t be fully explored in only one article. Design trends and rules tend to vary greatly for many different reasons. However, one of the most effective ways to understand design is to begin experimenting with design. With the careful application of time, practice, and a dedication to learning, anyone can produce engaging pieces of graphic art and effective marketing.