When you’re given graphic design guidelines to work from, it can be difficult to think of ways to bring emotion into the design job. Your customer knows what they want to achieve, but it’s up to you to portray it in the most emotional way possible. This can be tough if the brand is not normally one to portray emotion. However, you’ve got a job to do, and that job is to enhance the branding of a business.
So, whether you’re designing a new logo, a full business brand or simple marketing flyers to sell a product, it pays to know how to convince customers effectively. Below are five ways designers can bring emotion into their graphic design.
Fonts play a huge part in the successful creation of a logo or design needing an emotive stance. Not only do fonts give a sense of what the brand stands for, but it can create a sense of mood. Take movie posters for example. A horror film is more likely to use bold and jagged fonts to give a sense of impending doom, whilst a romance film would use italics and fonts that create a feeling of serenity and peace.
When you’re using a particular font, make sure it matches the overall image the business wishes to portray. You wouldn’t use romantic fonts for an engineering firm, nor would you use a stencil font for a nail salon. The best way to know you’ve chosen the right font is to think about how you feel when you see the font in action. Does it relate to the business? Does it give the feeling the business wishes to portray? How do you feel when you hear about a particular service being offered?
Graphic designers also have software at their disposal, which can create custom fonts, unique to a particular business. If you’re looking to use a font that’s already created, be sure to buy its commercial rights before you use it.
Use colours in your graphic design
Colours count a lot in marketing and advertising, and graphic designers are educated on how to make them work best. Think about colours used in advertising. What does it make you feel?
Blue and green are often used for businesses in either clinical, cleaning or calming lines of work. It gives a sense of cleanliness and peace, and is often found in hospital environments.
Red gives a sense of urgency and danger, and is also used in getting people to ‘act now’. Yellow, on the other hand, works in the same way, but it also shows that a business is creative. However, yellow and orange can also give off the vibe of being on a ‘budget’.
Using black or brown is more common in financial or legal environments, but when it’s mixed with green, it’s used with businesses involved with nature.
It’s hard to believe that colours can count for so much when you’re looking to brand your business, but they do. The job of a business logo illustrator is to make a customer feel the correct emotion when they see your brand.
Use a call-to-action
When you’re at the next stage of your branding which involves brochures, flyers and other informative pieces, it pays to use a call-to-action.
A call-to-action is a relatively new term used in advertising and selling. It’s designed to be incorporated into any script to encourage consumers to take action. In today’s competitive business world, it’s not enough to tell people your product or service is good. You’ve got to clinch the deal with a demand for them to do something about it.
You could have the most informative brochure, outlining the many reasons why your product or service is in a league of its own, but it’s not enough if you don’t ask the consumer to act on it. You can do this by providing your contact information at the bottom, and asking your potential customers to get in touch.
Use imagery where possible
Any graphic designer will tell you that the key to getting an emotional response in your marketing and advertising is by using imagery. It’s all well and good to tell the customer in a paragraph of text why they need to do something, but it’s often said better with a graphic.
Have you ever noticed how starving children are used as imagery to portray the goals and mission of a charity? Or how sad looking animals are used in the promotional material of the RSPCA? What about hurt farm animals for PETA?
They could use paragraphs filled with information, or they could get to the point a whole lot quicker by using imagery designed to shock and promote action.
Imagery is also a good way of making your brand seem more vibrant and modern. People don’t have time to read as much as they used to, so rebranding your business to be more contemporary with infographics and less business talk is a sure-fire way to put your business in a good light.
White space wins
There was a time where every space on every page in every magazine, flyer or brochure was filled with content. Full page advertisements were filled with text and very little else. It was a bore to look at, and a bore to read. That is why white space wins. White space refers to the negative space between columns, lines, graphics, figures or anything else printed on the page. It not only breaks the page up, but allows the reader to focus their attention on particular parts – something most retailers aim to do.
White space is winning on a daily basis, and it now ties in well with imagery. Many businesses are choosing to focus on the image with one or two words, opposed to whole paragraphs of text. Simplistic in design yet exceptionally effective, it’s an encouraged marketing ploy by many graphic designers.
If you’re a graphic designer with skills in emotive graphic design, how do you know what works? What do your customers think? We’d love to hear all about it.