August 9, 2017 starke

The Hidden Marketing Trap: Why your design is beautifully ineffective

Graphic designers are artists. ​With a computer, the Adobe Suite, a cup of of coffee, ​and a few Lynda tutorials​, even the most novice graphic designer can become a modern day Da Vinci. ​

That’s obviously a gross exaggeration. It’s been said that you can essentially throw out your first two years of design work as mere practice; for most it takes many years on top of that to truly become a great designer.

There are some enormously talented designers out there. Being the person who is usually directing creative traffic rather than creating design myself, I’m often blown away by the amazing concept work that can be whipped together in a relatively short period of time.

So…after a concept is settled upon, the real work begins. Hours, if not days, can be spent choosing the perfect color palette, testing different typefaces, playing with lines – molding everything that is moldable until it is absolutely perfect. Except for one tiny detail:

The message. 

Wait. Isn’t the message the reason we are doing the design in the first place?

You’d be surprised at how often the message is the last part to be considered – when it should be foremost.

We can become so obsessed with making sure the visual is aesthetically pleasing, that we forget the purpose of the piece. Do not misinterpret what I am saying here. I believe in marketing through visual design. An image can communicate more instantly than words – if done correctly – but much too often the image is communicating something other than the product, business or service that is the subject of the advertising.

So I’ll reiterate… Graphic Designers, are artists, but Graphic Design is not supposed to be art.

As a Marketer, the only thing that’s important to me is accomplishing the mission that I have undertaken. Growing exposure, driving revenue, increasing conversions. There are many content creators that understand this, and the most successful graphic designers will always put the message first.

I strive for beautiful design whether from myself or my team, but I will never compromise the message to achieve it.

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