effective-design

Good design = effective design

22 March 2017

Effective Design

 

We believe good design = effective design. That sounds obvious doesn’t it? However, often designers (and clients) get sucked into the sinking-sand of ’good looking’ design — they forget the main purpose of design is to solve a problem / communication.

What use is a beautiful chair if it can’t be sat on? Or an architectural masterpiece that is too unstable to inhabit? They may both be nice on the eye but neither solves the purpose for which it was conceived. I believe the same is true for graphic design, or for that matter, branding.

Now, we are not saying design shouldn’t be beautiful, what we are saying is that beauty is not (in most cases) its primary function. Once this concept is appreciated, it changes the way design is approached. When ‘will this solve the problem?’ replaces, ‘does this look good?’ then you start creating design that is far more effective, has far more impact and has far more value for the client.

So how can you ensure your design work will be effective? Here are two key areas to focus on. 

 

Know your audience.
We don’t believe designers should design for themselves — to fulfil a sense of ego or to puff up their portfolio. We don’t believe designers should design for the client — to completely pander to their tastes and preconceptions. We believe designers should design for the target market — those who you are actually trying to target, communicate with or impact in some way.

Of course to target a specific audience, you need to know who that audience is. Are they male or female? Old or young? Single or married with kids? Are they high earners or budget conscious? The tighter you can define this audience, the more focused you can be with your decision making and, ultimately, the more effective your design will be.

You could produce the best looking, concept driven, bang-on trend piece of design this world has ever seen, but if it doesn’t resonate with the desired target market it hasn’t done its job. It’s like that beautiful yet unusable chair — serving no higher purpose than pleasing the eye.

 

Know the offering.
Whether it’s branding, web design or campaign work, communication is at the heart of graphic design. Approaching every design decision with your target market in mind is great but it’s only half the battle.

This brings us to the other side of the coin — what are you trying to communicate? Whether it’s creating a new brand, designing a new brochure or producing a new campaign concept — the design should enhance the message.

In order to be effective, we believe design should reflect the client’s unique business, offering, values and culture. For this to be achievable you need to really understand what it is — why is it needed, what makes it unique? This information should come from the brief and is key if the designer is to effectively communicate the business.

An exciting new technology company should have a different visual language to that of an organic supermarket and a trendy surf brand should appear differently to a well established accounting firm.

Again, this sounds obvious but we often come across design where the visual style and intended message fail to align. This inevitably boils down to either the designer having a preconceived (or preferred) visual style from which they don’t (or can’t) deviate, or, an insufficiently in-depth brief from which the designer has drawn the wrong conclusions.

The problem in these instances is that the communication becomes confused — trying to say one thing whilst inadvertently subconsciously saying another.

 

We believe these two complimentary areas are the basis for creating effective design. A good designer should take the time to really understand who the target market are and what the client wants to say about their business. Placing the focus on ‘does this work’ instead of ‘does this look good’ will result in better, more effective design solutions. And you know what — it should look pretty great too.

 

Contact
Thorvald Meyers Gt 30
Grünerkøkka
0555

+47 900 23 663
kate@moloneyme.com

Contact
Thorvald Meyers Gt 30
Grünerkøkka
0555

+47 900 23 663
kate@moloneyme.com

Aligning business
& communications
Looking to take an idea to the market, or in business already?

Get in touch to chat about design that goes beyond aesthetics.

Aligning business
& communications
Looking to take an idea to the market,
or in business already?
Get in touch to chat about design
that goes beyond aesthetics.

 

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