Creative direction tips for multichannel brands
Graphic design is now a whole new marketing ball game.
Consumers are fast (don’t spend much time looking at an artwork) yet curious (constantly expecting visual updates).
To engage people, today’s big brand competes in a fast-paced flow of information where everyone is a media channel. If a few years ago you could spend time on brainstorming and design, today your focus is on being a day-to-day visual content powerhouse. Some of the original rules in graphic design apply, but need revisions to stay relevant. A new graphic design manual to reach today’s fast and curious consumer is called for:
- Think responsive – From the get-go, make sure your design is easily adaptable to every format – both online and offline, both static and animated.
- Declutter – This is more relevant than ever. We live in an overwhelming visual chaos. Use white space to make your visual communication stand out.
- Be brief – Get to the point. Quick.
- Add value – Your brand’s visuals should only ever be published if they add clear value for your target audience.
- Have a call to action – This is related to the point above. Make sure your graphics answer the So what? question.
- Be friendly – Being informal brings you closer. It also helps you stay brief.
- Have contrast – Make sure your text is legible and your graphics are clearly visible. They have to look good on a small phone screen in the sunlight too.
- Maintain your ToV – Your tone of voice is as important as the visual style of your brand. Make sure it stays consistent.
- Stay true to brand – This is related to the point above but on a global level. Your design should be instantly recognizable as belonging to your brand. Only then will any of the points above make sense.
- Don’t add more than one message – Focus. One message per artwork. Otherwise it becomes a confusing waste of space.
- Don’t use illegible fonts – Your audience has no time to decipher. If you use text, make sure it’s easy to read.
- Don’t use confusing messages – Humor works great, but watch out for confusing word play or misleading info.
- Don’t embellish for design’s sake – Your visual communication has a purpose to inform a target audience – quickly and clearly. Remove distractions.
- Don’t get all hands on deck – In a fast-moving environment, you need to focus on delivery and move on to the next project. Keep decision making to a limited number of key people, preferably one.
Do you have more tips for successful graphic design in today’s fast multichannel environment? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how visual communication evolves to connect brands with people.
This is a repost of my LinkedIn article
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