Q: What is Graphic Design?
The technical answer: “Graphic design is the discipline by which a creative artist renders a visual representation of an idea. Hence, a graphic designer turns a verbal communication into a visual communication.”
But, in laymen’s terms, we help sell stuff — a product or service — through design and marketing.
Now that’s more interesting. Graphic artists tend to be creative people; after all, the word ‘artist’ or ‘designer’ is part of the title. However, graphic artists almost always apply their creative skills to help sell or market a product or service.
How does a graphic artist help clients sell their wares? Simple: through packaging, websites, signage, posters, and brochures for instance.
Graphic designers can be identity therapists for businesses.
The most valuable skill a graphic artist can possess is the ability to ask questions and listen carefully to the answer. The goal of graphic design is to understand the image a business want to communicate, decipher the image and communicate it visually. Like this ad, “scaring” us out of eating GMO corn.
That is what modern graphic design can do — create and establish a brand that delivers an emotional punch that cannot be mistaken for anything else.
Contemporary graphic design lives daily in little moments in our lives:
The relief a mother with hungry kids in her car feels with when she sees the “Golden Arches” — a visual representation of convenience, simplicity, a child’s happiness, and — oh yes, food. Or the thrill of excitement many feel when they see the Amazon “smile” logo on their front door step. Even when we know its just toilet paper.
The colors and symbols of a brand form powerful connections in our minds that can trigger emotions — and ultimately actions. And when we marry graphic design to how a client wants their customers to feel or think about its brand, it’s the ultimate expression of art and design.
And it works both ways.
If some negative aspect becomes associated with a brand, the brand itself becomes a symbol of negativity. In some cases, a brand itself must be changed to overcome this. Kentucky Fried Chicken, changed to “KFC” to minimize their image of unhealthy “fried” food. Phillip Morris became Altria, when they discovered their name was too synonymous with tobacco-related disease, and so on.
When we work with clients, we attempt to immerse ourselves in their culture — their business, product, service, audience, personality — so we can discover and create the essential, indelible images of a unique brand.
Your logo is not just a logo.
It’s the cornerstone that consumers will come to instantly recognize when they engage with your company. If your logo isn’t used consistently everywhere, it should be. Your advertisement isn’t just slapped together for a magazine, billboard, or web banner, just to fill up the appropriate amount of space. It’s a piece of art intended to point your customers in a direction, and then have them take action. Your website is more than just a necessary marketing tool. It’s your virtual brochure or storefront, designed to invite customers in and have them stay a while.
For us, all graphic design is custom
Whether its the pizza box from your local sub shop or the graphics for a fleet of vehicles for a national communications company — every asset is an opportunity to build a unique, memorable and lasting impression of your brand, and what it represents. Take advantage of that and you will achieve brand recognition, which creates loyal customers.
Every brand must be distinct, no two “pizza boxes” should ever look the same, or be “generic,” which is the hard part. But hey, as Jimmy Dugan once said… “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”