More and more, marketing and graphic design are becoming one. While there has always been a need for graphic design for any good marketing campaign, the lines are blurring between strictly a marketer and a graphic designer.
Why is that? Well think about how many posts you’ve seen about content marketing and it’s absolute importance in a marketing strategy’s execution. A big portion (in fact, almost all) of successful content marketing revolves around some great graphic design.
Does that mean that a marketer should be technically skilled in everything graphic design? I don’t think so. I also don’t think it hurts to have a little knowledge about programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or know some key graphic design terms (this is a great article to check out for some of those terms-plus it’s an info-graphic!).
So, what does graphic design do for marketing? These are two that I have had experience with, but there are tons!
- Creates and enforces a brand image
- Makes for seamless ease of use, particularly with mobile
Creating a Brand Image with Graphic Design
The combination of text and images that a brand composes and uses says a lot about who they are. Graphic design makes up the logo/brand mark, design of advertisements, company websites, etc. The design of any of these factors is the first impression to a consumer, so it should accurately represent the company/brand.
This means that your brand image should match your target market, be consistent and be refined. All of these things are accomplished through the use of graphic design.
Match your Target Market
In order to have a successful and likable brand image among your target market you must take into consideration several factors. You should know the intentions, needs, desires, likes/dislikes and behaviors of your target market. All of those factors play a role in the colors used, graphics, format and text of everything you produce.
What does your target market respond to? What appeals to your target market most? What does your target market consider when they judge the look and overall aesthetic of something?
These are all questions that must be answered in order to have effective graphic design that will ultimately elevate your marketing strategy and move your marketing goals forward.
Once you know what your target market wants and is most effected by you can craft your brand image. It is important to keep your brand image consistent in everything that you do, because like I mentioned earlier, this is how first impressions are made.
Your brand image has the power to build brand awareness and brand loyalty, but only if consumers can recognize it easily. Keep the colors, font, image styles and overall aesthetic consistent on everything from a banner ad, to an e-commerce site to the employee training books.
Your brand is made up of many things, like values, a vision and a mission, but it is also important to remember that how you present all of those things also matters.
Refine your Successes
Now that your overall graphic design matches with your target market and is consistent, it is time to refine it. Just like every process there must be feedback and measurement. Since we might not get everything right the first time, it is important to go back and see how your brand image and your overall graphic design is being received. Do people like it? Is it truly representing the company in the best and most accurate way?
Figure out what works and what doesn’t work, then make changes. Keep on refining your graphic design elements, but don’t lose the brand image you’ve built. Sure, you can re-brand, but I think it is better to refine.
Seamless Ease of Use
Graphic designers have this knack for understanding how to make something look good. And sometimes when something looks good, it has the opportunity to work well too. What do I mean by that?
Perhaps an example would be a good place to start. Let’s talk about Instagram.
Most of you probably have an Instagram account, and most of you probably would agree that it is user friendly. The overall layout of the app is clean and simple, and the icons that indicate different functions are representative and also have a clean appearance.
So, how does graphic design come into play?
Graphic designers can take the concept of functionality and display of information and make it user friendly, coherent and logical to the viewer/user.
Digital Marketing Benefits from This
I think that it is more apparent in the mobile application of marketing efforts that we can really see how important it is to work with a graphic designer to display your information. In such a small space how can we make the most of it? How can we make it easy for users to find what they are looking for? Is the experience on the mobile platform easy and enjoyable?
These are the things you must consider when taking your company to the web, specifically for mobile use. Graphic designers can create a look that will help users find what they want, represent your brand and get all the information you want in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Marketing and graphic design are two areas that are becoming closely integrated and dependent on each other. Not only do marketing materials, advertisements and website have to look good, they also have to work. Graphic designers can create things that users want to clock on, for example. And that helps marketing and the bottom line.
What does graphic design do your your marketing? Or, what does marketing do for your graphic design? Leave me a comment, or Tweet me at @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory to let me know!