Graphic design is the art of appearances. Graphic designers craft how something looks so that it appeals to the target market, is appropriate to the function of an item, and projects the correct values and messages. Businesses need to achieve all of this in every single piece of communication they produce. That’s why graphic design is important for any business.
Beyond these general rules of thumb, however, what can we say more specifically about the business applications – and value – of graphic design? Ninety per cent of the information delivered to the human brain is visual – that’s why appearances matter so much in all walks of life, business included. So how can graphic design help?
We spend a lot of time at Squibble answering this question differently for every client – so you might want to get in touch with us to discuss how graphic design can work for your particular business.
Why Graphic Design Matters
Humans are visual creatures. In his book Brain Rules, John Medina has shown that, if we read only text, we’re likely to remember just 10% of the information three days later; if a relevant image is added to that text, we’ll remember two thirds of the information after the same period of time.
So graphic design matters because it makes information “stickier”. Human brains respond powerfully to colour, shape, typeface and texture – they produce emotional responses which have far greater impacts that intellectual ones only. Plus, good design makes information easier to navigate: a great layout makes exploring a brochure or a website a pleasure, not a chore.
Finally, graphic design provides a consistency to a business’s communications. It isn’t just about making each individual page or press release easier to read, remember and understand – it’s about bringing together a business’s activity under a single identity. Consumers develop loyalty to brands because of that consistency – and graphic design is how that is reliably achieved.
How Graphic Design Helps Business
So how can these principles be deployed in particular applications for business? The obvious example will be clear to most business owners, and likely come to mind when they think of graphic design: logos. Graphic designers routinely field logo design requests, and they are among the most important element of a business’s visual identity.
The truth is, though, that a logo is only a part of an effective graphic design strategy for any business. In an ideal, graphic design should begin not with a logo but with a mood: a set of colours or shapes that evoke the values or messages of a business. A logo will emerge best from this approach, because it will be part of a consistent design identity.
From this work proceed all sorts of other graphic design elements that may seem humble but which often become essential to a business’s identity: letterheads and page layouts, advertisements and web designs. All kinds of marketing and sales collateral should be “designed” in the sense that it exhibits and confirms to a set of visual “rules” established by the business. Graphic design is about establishing what these rules should be – and how they should be applied.
Why Graphic Design Is Important
All of this should lead us to an obvious conclusion: graphic design is important to a business because it mediates its relationship with the client – indeed, with every potential lead, too. By creating a visual identity for a business, graphic design can powerfully represent its offering and values to consumers – and help build brand loyalty as a consequence.
In other words, graphic design isn’t a nice-to-have extra or merely about logos. Instead, it’s the backbone of any successful marketing and comms strategy – because it has the power to define a brand. Ultimately, that’s why graphic design is important for any business!