With so many tools available on the web today, it is easy to accept the idea that graphic design can be done by anyone. It is also understandable that not all businesses have the budget to hire a graphic designer, and in many cases take it upon themselves to craft their designs in-house. That being said, not hiring a professional designer for your work is like buying a Ferrari and putting just any old tires on it. In the end, it simply will not function as you expect. Good graphic design is imperative to your business’ success.
The art of graphic design is exactly that–an art. It involves psychology, a strong understanding of user experience, and creativity among many other factors. Good graphic design is more than just putting information on a page, it will drive action. Below are a few reasons why hiring a professional designer will create a better relationship between you and your audience.
Getting the Message Across
Have you ever seen a cluttered poster or advertisement that contained just way too much information? This is the equivalent of listening to multiple songs at the same time. There just isn’t any point because you won’t be able to decipher any of it.
Each design piece should offer a single message to its viewers to ensure the message is unmistakably clear. In addition to this, the use of proper hierarchy in organizing elements on the page leads the viewer to exactly the pieces of information that are most important. When information is organized and displayed in a clean, efficient manner, the viewer also knows exactly what is expected of him/her in order to take action.
In this cluttered website example, one has absolutely no idea where to even begin. And if you’ll notice, it takes quite a lot of effort to find out what this website is even about.
Good Design Creates Trust
If a business is truly conscious of its brand, it will expect every aspect of its exposure in the public will fall in line with that brand. Imagine if McDonald’s one day decided to start using Microsoft Word and Publisher to design all of its marketing and its billboards and television ads suddenly looked different. Would you eat there, or would you wonder if they were on a downward spiral? You may no longer trust their existing reputation as the largest fast food chain in the world.
Although this is an extreme example, the principle is the same for any business. Consumers expect their experience with a business to be consistent across all channels, from social media to website to in-person. If any of those elements are visually disconnected, it creates an element of mistrust.
A good example of this is when the GAP clothing store changed their logo a few years ago. It lasted only a few months before they were forced to retract the change due to major consumer upset. The old logo had created a significant element of trust with its consumers, and they felt connected to the brand. When GAP made the change, the new logo literally looked like someone had created it in Microsoft Word, and consumers were outraged that they no longer felt understood.
It Tells a Story
The way consumers shop today has shifted, and storytelling is very important. Consumers want to know their investment in your product or service fits with their own goals, morals, and beliefs. Your designs need to create an emotional response, as these responses drive action.
In your design, your viewers are your characters, and you are guiding them through an experience with your business. In this Heinz ad, they tell a clear story about how their product is made and what you’ll expect when you use it.
Good Typography is Imperative
The unfortunate reality of DIY graphic design is the lack of understanding of proper typography. Too many times I see businesses choose fonts because they “look cool” without realizing that choice may not properly represent your business.
Additionally, the font chosen may belong to Microsoft products, making it nearly impossible to hire a graphic designer to use that font in any proper design software due to licensing restrictions.
Your business needs visual branding guidelines that are properly researched and analyzed to ensure all elements considered are appropriate to your business. Typography is the baseline of all good design. If your typography is done right, your brand has recognition even without other visual elements.
Here is a fantastic example of what I mean. You know what company represents this word simply by the font used. This is how important typography is to your visual brand:
If you guessed Disney, you were correct!
Graphic design is so much more than putting images and text together. If you want the best for your business, it is worth investing in a professional designer to ensure your marketing is an appropriate player within your brand.