Creating visual communication isn’t just about owning an image editing or layout program. It’s about creating thoughtful design solutions that appeal to a particular audience, enticing them to follow a pre-determined course of action, kind of like deciding which cheap car insurance to use.
An overall vision is typically derived through multiple steps of thoughtful and meaningful research first. Knowing who you want to communicate to is just as important as understanding how the trends those demographics follow speak to them. What whispers or screams at your demographic today might not be the case tomorrow.
Research is the number one key in speaking to your target market. Not only determining income, family size, age and occupations of your intended audiences but also how these individuals interact with a given product or service. Understanding human centered design and applying design thinking outlines how and with what you use to approach your audience. Knowing who you want to reach first, can help determine everything from the type of collateral created to the color pallet used. Once I know who I’m designing for and how they think and communicate, the overall outline of projects I develop fall into place.
My first idea is not always my best idea. While brainstorming multiple approaches to reaching your target audiences, I define the overall finished products in a streamlined manner that will save time and money for everyone involved. I like to use thumbnail sketches and storyboard layouts to determine the visual approach within set timelines and specific budgets. This may seem to take an extensive amount of time, but this process saves me hours upon hours of reworking ideas later on in production. Then I hit the pavement and web to gather insightful feedback through ethnographic research methodologies. Qualitative and quantitative data help shape projects that work for the individual rather than only designing a project and hope the consumer likes them.
Thoughtful design is just that… thoughtful. I would never sell a magazine plastered with Chantilly lace backgrounds and cotton candy pink script to the heavy metal grunge mechanic. I might, but chances are I wouldn’t. If I did, I should eat crow. Not that there is anything wrong with pink, lace, grunge or grease, but that they don’t speak with the same voice. Color pallet, typeface and imagery are the non-verbal voices and tone of visual communication. Choosing these elements thoughtfully will make a difference between successful and unsuccessful communication pieces.
When I spend a great deal of time researching, I spend my design time wiser. The result creates visual communication pieces with a set voice, tone, feeling, and the anticipated desired action I want the consumer to follow and that they will use in a manner desired.