The best designs are those that elicit an emotional response. For some, it may have to do with imagery. For others, colors or shapes may be what inspires. The most well-trained eyes may be moved by a design that is well thought-out or one that is so obvious it seemed to happen effortlessly.
Whether the deliverable is a website, print advertisement, brochure or billboard, the ultimate goal is to sell, but each piece has (or should have) very specific sub-goals. Is it to get prospective buyers to make a phone call, fill out a form, go to your website, attend an event or something else? A designer will need to know all of this to create a design that delivers the target message.
Next, get to know the persona of the target market. Put yourself in the shoes of the target buyer. Think about who they are and what their day is like – ie. think about their lifestyle. Then think about what they will be buying and why, and what it would take to get you to buy the product. What is it about the product that will improve their lifestyle – save them time, save them money or just make them smile.
Good design fits seamlessly into its environment, but great design makes us stop and admire it. Here are some of our tips for creating a design that inspires prospects to buy.
• Color makes the design. Bold, vibrant colors that attract the eye can make a design stand out, but it may not work for every brand. In fact, the Pantone color of the year is Radiant Orchid, a soft pastel, which is great for use in backgrounds, photographs, fonts, videos and more. Make use of contrasting colors to help your design stand out. Think about what feelings each color evokes, and use them effectively.
• Take advantage of the many different types of visuals (hand-done, digital and stock illustrations, original and stock photography), just be careful to not choose illustrations that have been overused or your design will blend in and not stand out. Visuals-centered social networking sites have taken over, and real-life imagery (especially photography featuring real people of all body types, ethnicities, ages, etc.) has expanded into advertising, especially in magazine and online ads to elicit trust in consumers. Consumers want to see real people in real life. Encourage user generated content with contests and incentives.
• The popularity of YouTube and other video-sharing sites showcase how much consumers love moving graphics. The eye is drawn to motion, so now landing pages, ads and website designs often include movement. Use movement with your calls to action to draw attention to them. Visuals have a hierarchy – text, still images and video – and video (or motion) will always trump the other non moving creative.
• Choose the appropriate typography for your design. One growing trend in typography is the use of dynamic, textured fonts to give your design a lasting impression. Don’t be afraid to mix fonts and use a traditional type font with a more informal “handwritten” font.
• Use grids and/or frames to give your designs a professional, organized look.
• Don’t forget the white space! With all of the different types of imagery, graphics and fonts available, designs can become cluttered and overwhelming. Keep designs simple and clean to make an impact that lasts.
Make sure that your designs are easy to read, bring about the emotional message you want to convey to your target audience and make your message crystal clear.
Of course, finding inspiration to do that is not always easy, even for veteran designers. Many look to online galleries, blogs, online magazines and other resources for inspiration and direction and many designers (including the Marketing RELEVANCE design team) like to try out new styles. This increases the designers’ “tool belt” of techniques and adds to our collection of possible approaches to future projects.
Looking for a creative team that aspires to inspire customers with engaging designs each and every time? Contact Marketing RELEVANCE today.