Why Design Still Matters
I had a meeting recently where I got a chance to create a new logo for a client. We met in person and I asked several questions to get a better understanding of the company, the client’s target audience, their competition, their dislikes…you know, important “Art Director stuff” to make me look smart.
No really, it was important for the foundation of their brand. But what intrigued me was that the client came into the meeting with only what they did not like and wasn’t truly prepared for the questions I was going to ask.
You see, the client (and at times – most people) did not really think of the science and thought that comes with creating a strong brand identity. It seems that we have this mind set of Googling “free clip art” and setting “Times New Roman” as the title of the company. I get it, it’s the easy way to save a buck and move on to what is important – or at least that is what they say. And do not get me started on flat low res .jpg files… PLEASE STOP!
But really, is design not important? I mean, if you really took a moment to look all around you (at this second) you’d see how important it is. Look at your environment. So many things are speaking to you and I bet you didn’t even know it. What is the saying – “If it had been a snake it would have turned into Voldermot and slithered into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”? Yeah.. that’s it.
You see – design is a subconscious process and really speaks to a person. It is essential that entrepreneurs understand that with the right design mindset, you can attract the right people.
In this blog, we will explore three key design areas that are essential in today’s modern day market: Color, Emblems, and Typography.
Color Matters In Marketing
Who does not love color? I mean, remember going back to elementary school in art class and getting to be Picasso for a moment? Until the teachers realized that the canvas was not the paper in front of you, but it was you. Yeah, that was me a couple of weeks ago.
Color is a critical element of marketing that can significantly impact how people perceive and connect with your brand. The right color scheme can evoke emotions, help people understand your messaging, and influence culture. Understanding the importance of color in marketing can help designers and marketers to create more effective communication materials and strengthen the impact of their branding efforts.
Here are some reasons why branding color matters in marketing:
1. Emotions: Different colors have been shown to evoke different emotions, from the calmness of blue to the joy of yellow. That is critically important to understand, especially in what you market. For example, you will NEVER see any doctors ever use a strong sense of red in their offices, hospitals, or websites. You will see them use primarily white, light colors, and blues.
Now, on the other hand, you will see red with fire trucks, ambulances, stop signs, and lights that are connected to the brain to say “STOP” or “GET OUT OF THE WAY”. Because red signals the brain to respond with danger, emergency, stop, and the emotion is usually a sense of urgency and haste.
By selecting a color scheme that aligns with the brand’s values and messaging, marketers can create an emotional connection with their target audience.
2. Messaging: Color can be used to convey important information. Take note of this, did you know what color is connected to niches that you never realized? Yes, Blue for Doctors, Red for Stop, and Green for Money or Environmental. Yellow for Electricity and Orange for an Orange. By using color strategically, marketers can reinforce their brand messaging and values and make their communication materials more engaging and effective.
3. Culture: Cultural differences can also influence the meaning and interpretation of colors. While white is associated with purity and innocence in many Western cultures, it is traditionally associated with mourning and death in many Asian cultures. This is something even I did not know. But it is true. From brown being used in western type settings (Texas, Colorado etc), blues for areas around bodies of water (tourism – beaches), and let’s not forget this – your country’s color(s) of the flag, or even your College for those Sports Fanatics who like to paint themselves. By understanding these cultural nuances, marketers can ensure that their use of color is appropriate and effective in different regions and markets.
Color should not be taken for granted. The brain is hard wired to respond to it and that is important to what message you are communicating. Plus, for me, it is fun to splash around!
Importance Of A Good Emblem
A logo is essential for any company. It is the soul foundation (heart) that everyone will identify with. We live in a world with billions of people who understand different languages. According to the United States Census Bureau’s estimate from 2019, here are the populations of the selected ancestries in the US:
German: 43.1 million (13.0% of the population)
Mexican: 37.7 million (11.3% of the population)
Chinese: 4.6 million (1.4% of the population)
Russian: 3.1 million (0.9% of the population)
French (except Basque): 2.5 million (0.8% of the population)
Japanese: 1.4 million (0.4% of the population)
Visually the emblem, also known as the symbol or icon, of a logo can be read everywhere. You might be saying, well, I am a local business and have no plans for location expansion. As of 2020, Spanish Speaking Hispanics make up approximately 39% of the population in Texas. Basically, many people are moving and establishing themselves right in your area. When you have a website, and printed marketing materials, you’d understand why it is important to have a good emblem.
There are three companies that I love to use as good examples of having an EPIC emblem: McDonalds, Nike, and Dominos.
In the McDonald’s logo, the golden arches are the emblem, which is instantly recognizable and associated with the brand. The arches are simple, memorable, and convey a sense of joy and happiness, which aligns with the brand’s family-friendly image.
Nike’s “swoosh” logo is a simple yet iconic emblem that is easily recognizable around the world. It represents movement, speed, and athleticism, which aligns with the brand’s image as a sportswear and equipment company. Plus, I cannot tell you how many times people just use their index finger to make the “swoosh” motion to easily identify Nike.
In the Dominos logo, the emblem is a simple red and blue domino piece. It represents the brand’s focus on fast and efficient delivery, as well as its commitment to quality and consistency. I really enjoy the Dominos brand. Compared to the other two where they are noticed around the world, Dominos had their brand distinctive close to home since the United States is built on culture.
Overall, all three brands have come such a long way that their emblem is the core focus of their logo. No title, just the symbol. That my friends is what ALL companies need to aspire in getting a great logo!
The Science of Typography
Alrighty, gents and ladies, there is a science behind typography. What might it be?
First and foremost, typography affects the legibility and readability of what you are marketing. Font choice, size, letter spacing, and line spacing all impact the ease with which consumers can read and understand a message. By using legible fonts and appropriate spacing, marketers can ensure that their messages are clear and accessible to their target audience. So if you aren’t catching my drift – choose a GOOD FONT.
Fonts can leave either a good or bad impression in the mind of any individual. Remember “Avatar” the movie. Now I can understand why the marketing team decided to choose it – it fit the vibe ethnically, culturally, visually, blah, blah, blah…Come on…Papyrus font? Really??? I mean SNL made a whole skit on why this was funny?
Though Avatar did choose Papyrus as their main font, they did make it their own, and that is the GOAL!
In creating your branding, the fonts that you use need to reach your target audience. It would be silly to use cursive script fonts that an 80 year old cannot see. That is why Doctors, Senior Caregivers, Lawyers, Insurance Companies, and all age company demographics on any of their worded marketing collateral (especially their websites) use strong, non-script, and practically BOLD fonts.
Boutiques, Art Companies, Children Stores, ransom notes – that’s a whole different story – you will see script fonts, cursive, fun, and whatever you can see. Why? Again, it is that target audience that you are reaching.
That’s what font psychology is all about — it shows the importance of typography in branding by associating a specific font style to the thoughts and emotions of the viewer. Every font has its own identity, you need to find the right one that is in line with your brand’s persona.
In conclusion, design is a critical element of branding that can significantly impact how consumers perceive and connect with a brand. By creating a strong visual identity, selecting a design style that aligns with the brand’s values and messaging, creating effective communication materials that build trust and credibility, and standing out in a crowded market, marketers can create a powerful brand identity that resonates with their target audience and drives business growth. Well… at least that is what Chat GPT told me.
So, going back to my story with the client. Not only did he get educated on these elements, the company left with an amazing brand that spoke to their target audience, company’s core identity, and their primary goals. And BBM left with a great portfolio piece!
But what makes Design Really Matter? It is a representation of YOU 🙂