Ignore this aspect of marketing at your peril!
Take a moment to think about some of the most famous brands in the world—Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike. Just seeing these words on the screen probably makes you recall their logos and colors, you might have a full advert pop into your mind, or be able to clearly visualize a billboard or giant ad on a building. This not only shows the power of marketing, but emphasizes the importance of graphic design.
Without high quality graphic design, none of these brands would be where they are today. At this point you could try to argue that we are being hyperbolic, but the truth is that graphic design plays a critical role in any marketing strategy. If you want your business or venture to have the best chance of success then you need to make sure you pay attention to the importance of graphic design.
Graphic design isn’t solely about making things look good (although of course this is integral), it’s about effective communication, conveying information, creating a visual identity, appealing to a target market, and much more. It has an essential role to play in every aspect of a business’ marketing efforts, and we’re going to show you why this is the case and how you can use graphic design to give any business a competitive edge.
Hold up a second, just what is graphic design?
We know you’re reading the Linearity Curve (formerly Vectornator) blog right now so there is a chance you know a bit about graphic design already, but we don’t want to make any assumptions so let’s start with a brief explanation of what graphic design actually is.
In the most general and broad terms, graphic design is the art of combining text and images for a wide variety of print and digital media, such as magazines, books, advertisements and websites. Your average lay person may think that graphic design is just a fancy way of saying ‘making things look nice’, but the work of a graphic designer encompasses many different skills and facets—typography, fonts, color theory, page layout, and symbols are just some of the design elements that a graphic designer will work with.
Graphic designers work out how best to display information in a way that resonates with your target audience and influences their decision-making process. A good marketing designer can use their graphic design skills to create a call-to-action that will encourage potential customers to buy your product or download your app, for example. There is a very wide variety of design tasks that are undertaken by graphic design professionals, including logo design, flyers and brochures, social media graphics, business cards and branded company materials, web page design, and much more.
OK cool, I get what it is, but WHY is it so important?
One of the most compelling reasons as to why graphic design is so important is that we process images and visuals much faster than we process text alone. In fact, studies have shown that it is some 60,000 times faster! Also, when it comes to the way information is transmitted to the brain, humans are wired to process visual information. 90% of the information that gets transmitted to the brain is visual in nature.
On a high level, this means that we should be prioritizing quality graphic design if we want to appeal to potential customers in the best way possible, and there are a number of other key reasons too.
You only get one chance to make a first impression
At some stage in our lives we’ve probably all had the experience of opening up a business’s website for the first time, only for it to look like it hasn’t been updated since the 1990s, and we immediately shut the window and look for an alternative. With new prospective customers, you get a single shot at impressing them and if you’re not making an impact then you’re losing out.
Of course, we don’t mean you need to be flashy and over the top, that’s not what good graphic designing is, we mean that you need to instantly appeal to your target audience in the best way possible. The modern business world is hyper competitive, especially in the digital sphere, and any edge you can get on your competitors needs to be driven home. For this reason, quality designs are a must-have tool for your marketing toolbox.
Capturing and holding attention is essential
We are bombarded every day by many different marketing campaigns—advertising is everywhere, both on- and offline—and the fight for people’s attention is fierce. You need to not only capture the attention of potential clients and customers, but you need to hold it too. This is where graphics in design can really excel. A talented graphic designer can create types of design that will draw the viewer in and make them want to know more.
If you have bad graphic design or have neglected this aspect of your business, then your marketing messages will be lost. You need good graphic design to first catch people’s eye, and then hold it.
It boosts sales and increases conversion rates
The ability of good graphic design to effectively communicate information and to persuade people to take action is one of its best traits. With a well designed flyer, advert or web landing page, you can turn prospective clients into paying clients. A skilled designer will know exactly how to create a call-to-action type design, and this will automatically lead to a bigger client base and a healthier bottom line.
A strong brand identity sets you apart
If you have a business of any kind, you will almost certainly have competitors, and one of the main uses of graphic design is to set your business apart from the competition. Creating a distinct brand identity will help your business to stand out and become readily identifiable. Branding isn’t just about creating a company logo, it also includes what fonts you will use in your marketing, what color palettes you will incorporate, and what kind of imagery you will include.
Branding consistency helps your product or business to become readily and easily identifiable. Your branding reflects what kind of company you are and can communicate your purpose and values. Regardless of the size of the business, good branding is essential, so it’s no surprise that establishing a brand identity is one of the most popular design services that a design agency or graphic design business will be asked to provide.
Quality design builds trust and credibility
Gaining the trust of customers and clients is absolutely essential if you want to succeed in business. If your customers do not trust you, they will simply not buy your products or services. On the topmost level, high quality graphic design reflects professionalism, which shows that your business knows what it is doing. This is increasingly important in the digital realm. If your website is badly designed or has a poor user experience, it will immediately cost you business, whereas a slick and well functioning site will do the opposite.
OK great, I’m sold! How do I improve our graphic design?
It doesn’t matter whether you are running a small one-person business or a big corporate company, there are ways for you to harness the power of graphic design to push your marketing up a level.
Low budget: DIY
If you’re a new business there is a strong chance that you won’t be able to employ a professional graphic designer straight away. In this case, you will be taking care of the graphic design yourself. This might seem intimidating but the good news is that there are lots of design programs and online design tools that you can use to do everything from design logos to create posters to produce social media assets. If you get really into it, you can also take some graphic design courses and tutorials to develop your skills.
Middle budget: Use a freelance designer
This is an ideal option if you have a small budget to work with. A freelance designer can help you with any aspect of your marketing—they can design a new logo for you, create an advertising campaign, produce a promotional video for your social media channels, whatever you need. The price of freelance services is hugely variable, and you can use platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to source the right people, or you can tap into your network to find a suitable candidate. The great thing about working with a freelance designer is that you can call upon their services as and when you need them.
@geeeziee Working on a super exciting design project :) #fypシ #design #illustrator #graphicdesign #coffeecanlabel #labeldesign #arttok #artistvlog ♬ In A Sentimental Mood - John Coltrane
Big budget: Hire an agency
Like freelancers, agencies can vary in prices. There are small agencies that can work with lower budgets, and then there are large agencies that charge top dollar for very high end work. One thing all agencies have in common is that you will be employing a creative team who can take care of every aspect of the graphic design for your marketing and do so to the most professional and highest standard. There are agencies out there who are on top of the biggest design trends and who can generate a huge impact with their work. This is the dream option for those with a nice budget.
By this stage you should have a clear grasp of why graphic design is the most crucial part of marketing, and have an idea of how you can start to improve the graphic design of your own business or company. If you want to know more about branding, check out our guide, and pore through the rest of our blog for more graphic design inspiration.
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Adí is an SEO developer working for Linearity in Berlin. Her hobbies include drawing comics, yoga, swimming, infinite scrolling, and birdwatching.