Importance of Design
Come on a little journey with me….let’s take a quick peek at a world without visual design.
I’m hungry, shall we go to the grocery first?
Wait…can we even get there safely without road and traffic signs?
How do we know it is a grocery store without the signage out front?
Let’s wander in and find out.
“Oh my goodness, every aisle is just white boxes….how am I to know the cereal from dishwasher powder?”
Expand imagination even more…everything is packaged identically…same shape, same size, same white cardboard box…shelf after shelf after shelf after shelf…
I am getting frustrated. So frustrated that I am going to walk out with nothing. I have no idea what anything is nor how much it costs.
Overwhelm can come in many forms - including too much information AND too little.
Those of us that are fortunate enough to have the gift of sight, rely on it heavily. What we see goes into our brain and translates into information and feeling. At the end of the day, the feelings are what guide us in our likes and our dislikes…and that directly correlates to the decisions that we make.
Visual Cues = Feelings
As a human, we sort through the massive amount of information that we are bombarded with by simplifying it down into association.
Let me use the example of FedEx. See? It is already shorted from Federal Express to FedEx. When was the last time you told someone you were going over to mail something at Federal Express? My guess is that you said, “I’ve gotta run by FedEx…”.
When the vehicle pulls up to your house, you see the orange and purple logo on the white truck. The actual word FedEx is completely unnecessary because you recognize the visual cues of what this is. Long ago you made the association between the “look” and the service that you would receive.
Time after time you receive packages in this way and this creates feelings. From your personal experience, what are your default feelings about FedEx (insert any company here)? Have you had pleasant experiences and often receive packages of beautiful things? Or does the FedEx truck represent work and unpleasant overnight packages of laborious documents?
What your feeling relationship is with a company will absolutely influence where you choose to spend your money.
Association
Likes and dislikes run so deeply through our psyche. For many, they come out in color and style preferences.
In the early 90s I was in junior high. High-waisted pants, pin legs, body suits, and neon colors were all the rage. Because of where this fashion fell in my life span, I automatically associated this style with the awkwardness of puberty, first kisses, and flat out junior high BS.
Well when high-waisted pants came back into style, it took me awhile to muster buying a pair. Why? Because I so heavily associated those ungainly feelings with the visual cues of that era.
I had to choose to break my ingrained bridge of feeling to be able to pull my pants high into my rib cage and not feel the memory of my braces digging into my upper lip.
Good brands (logos) are timeless. They do not rely on the whims of the current style. Instead they rely on simple, well thought out, clever, and solid design.
If I pull out a logo I designed 10 years ago and I still feel that it is good, then I know I have succeeded in my mission. Advertisements have more leeway to fly with the whims of “what’s in”, but the core base of your brand must always be your anchor and stand the test of time. For that is how you build trust.
Trust
Change is the double edged sword- we love it and we hate it. Yet, the only constant IS change. It feels as if the world itself is speeding up and there is so much change, some days (weeks, months) it is hard to digest it all.
A good brand and marketing strategy, paired with consistent visual cues creates as sense of stability for your consumer.
Have you ever taken a look at your own personal brand loyalty?
What is brand loyalty?
“I love this product/service so much that I will buy this brand no matter what” until...
1) I incur a disappointment so big that it overrides my devotion
or
2) a trusted source sways me to try something different
I'm always interested to look at my own brand loyalties. Why am I loyal?
It is in my genes (yes, I have been labeled as a maven and a perfectionist more than once) that I appreciate products that are well designed, consistent yet creative from year to year, and built with the intention to last a very, very long time.
The underlying reasons of why people become brand loyal are just as unique as people themselves. But the one ‘consistent’ is that people are depending on you to be ‘consistent’ with whatever ‘consistent’ they fell in love with in the first place. Get my point? We are back full circle to hearing that ‘consistent’ labored sigh when too much 'change' shows up…
To a business, brand loyalty is gold. These brand loyalists become your very best advertising source because they do your advertising for you. As a designer and visual communicator, it is my job to visually reflect the trust and value you have in your own company so that you may attract the people that just “love you”!
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