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What Good Graphic Design Can Do for Your Campaign – and What It Can’t

They say beauty is only skin deep, but when it comes to your marketing, we say visual design is the stuff of substance. Investing in skilled design work has real value beyond giving your customers something pretty to look at. Strategic and professional graphic design can help you …

Drive attention to the right information

Look over here! Well-designed material guides your eyes to the proper place. That’s not to say it’s all about catching attention. Think of a garish, overwhelming pop-up ad with flashing text and blinking lights – it might pull your focus, but once you’re hooked, you don’t know where or what to look at. Marketing fails if you register the mess, not the message.

Proper design work creates a clear, visual hierarchy of importance and helps your gaze easily flow from one subject to the next, while it minimizes distraction. Successful visuals are clean and easy to navigate, whether that involves using engaging infographics, clearly labeled calls to action like a donate button, or prominent placement for important information like safety guidelines.

Include everyone

Accessibility is also a key concern for designers, so all kinds of people can engage with the same material. Things like color, font and background might not make a difference to everyone, but for the visually impaired, they can be the difference between reading and passing on a piece. If you want content to reach the widest possible audience and to comply with local disability laws, graphic designers should know the ins and outs of accessible formatting.

Show that you mean business

Sure, there are sometimes dives and unexpected gems hiding behind poor visual marketing — but the key word is hiding. Cheap design never screams, “I’m on top of it.” Investment in graphic design shows that you think about the whole picture when it comes to customer experience, and you account for everything.

Your audience recognizes your care and effort when you go that extra mile, and it signals that even the details are under your control. As far as they can tell, how you do one thing is how you do everything, so when they see professional-quality design, people naturally expect that it reflects an organized, professional-quality business.

Articulate your brand          

Do you believe in branding at first sight? We do. The look of your collateral may be the first chance to tell your story. When people see your visual style, what do you want them to take away? Do you want to look clinical and official? Cutting edge and modern? Cozy and inviting? Design choices are an effective way of subtly setting expectations and getting your point across.

When you keep your branding consistent, your visual style becomes recognizable, which is why we always recommend designing with your strategic messages in mind. One way we help achieve that is through the creation of visual style guides, which lay out the key elements of an organization’s design, so that materials across projects can stay on brand.

But it’s not the whole deal

Graphic design is not just decoration, there’s still more to marketing. A proper strategy involves the targeted and thought-out application of your resources. If it’s not in front of the right people in the first place, or if your collateral isn’t playing into your larger goals, then you might be wasting some of your efforts. The cleanest, cleverest visuals won’t persuade anyone if they’re shown to the wrong audience.  That’s why we always take the time to research and get to know who a client is trying to reach, and what kinds of media will reach them best.

Finally, style can’t replace a solid value proposition. Graphic design can direct attention, make material more accessible, and communicate character, but it can’t make someone a loyal customer unless the service adds to their life. Knowing what your business offers that customers need is the core of your brand and the start of any business and marketing plan. If you need help defining your visual style or differentiating your brand, Mustang can work with you to develop a strategic foundation for your look and marketing.