4 THINGS WE’VE LEARNED ABOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN
It was just about a year ago that we took a major step forward and brought a graphic and web designer in-house to join our team. It was a goal we had for a while but we were patient, waiting for both the right time and the right person.
Despite having worked on design projects for over 10 years, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the art of design and the art of client relations during these past 12 months. Finding and refining our own design process and learning how to integrate our strategic approach to branding into that process has made for some major education for all of us.
Whether you’re a client or a designer, here are the top 4 things we’ve learned to be true about graphic design:
- Personal preference is just that: Everyone has an opinion about design. Bringing your design to vote by committee can be highly detrimental because it slows down the process and clouds your judgment. While consulting a few of your closest allies or stakeholders can be helpful, my best advice is to love the design yourself, fully understand its depth and meaning, stand behind it and then move on with your life.
- Channel your inner Frozen and “let it go”: Logos are important and I get that. They are often the market’s first blush with your organization and they should provide an accurate reflection of your brand. They are also one component of your entire existence. When you find yourself caught up in hours of debate on the precise shade with your entire board or staring at 100 revisions to the font size because no one can seem to agree, keep your eye on the big picture, trust yourself and your designer and at some point, just let it go.
- People need input: I’ve heard countless designers boast about only bringing one design option to the client – after all, the designers are the professionals and one choice should be sufficient. What I’ve learned to be true is that in 99% of the cases, the client wants their input incorporated into the design – no matter how small a detail it may seem. They want to be heard and the result is often more pride and ownership in the end product. We’ve learned not to take it personal, but to embrace it.
- Pretty is important but meaning is crucial: “Depth and interest” are two of the most frequently used words in our design conversations. Most of us can immediately determine if we think something is visually appealing, but that will only take you so far. Without meaning in your design, it’s just pretty, and pretty is as fickle as the wind. When there is meaning behind designs, they become memorable and timeless. A powerful design is one that captures it all.