Grown-up Graphic Design

and the Firework Effect

There’s a whimsical aura around the graphic design profession and it’s easy to see why. Imaginative, inventive and inspiring, it’s an industry that in our experience, when we tell people what we do, generally provokes a ‘wow’ reaction. I like to call it the ‘firework effect’. (If you’ve ever been to an impressive fireworks display, you’ll have heard the kind of ‘Oooooos’ ‘ahhhhs’ and ‘wows’ that I mean).

I’ve had a lot of firework effect moments recently and it got me thinking…what exactly is it about graphic design that gets people so excited? And more importantly, are they excited for the right reasons?

It goes without saying that designers are creative, which makes us an intriguing bunch. We’re ideas people (and who doesn’t love a good idea). But this implies a designer is simply someone who has responsibility for company décor and graphic design is far more grown-up than that. So lets dig deeper…

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Graphic Designers are C...

There are a host of C words that can be used to describe a graphic designer… As well as being creative, graphic designers are curious. They are challengers, contextualisers and communicators. But most importantly the very best graphic designers have commercial nous too.

And that (in our opinion) is what makes what we do exciting. (When we get a new creative brief that could transform a business, we’re even guilty of having our own ‘Ooooooo’ moments.)

Graphic designers have a great deal of influence. They are strategic thinkers who possess the unique ability to shift the way a brand is perceived, helping businesses connect with their target audience, raising brand profile and ultimately driving sales. That’s right – far from just making something look good, graphic designers have a real (and valuable) strategic bearing on the business.

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What are the traits of a strategic graphic designer?

Not to be under-estimated, the very best graphic designers take the time to understand the way a business works. They’ll get to grips with the objectives and then they focus and tailor their work accordingly. They adopt a grown-up approach to solving a real business challenge and they always have results in mind.

Strategic graphic designers are able to carry out detailed analysis. As well as understanding your business, they work towards gaining a deeper understanding of consumer tastes and needs. They look for patterns in behaviour and make calculated decisions so that their creative facilitates the best customer experience.

They are also avid planners who work tirelessly to develop inventive new ways to enhance brand image, promote sales and build consumer loyalty – bringing businesses and their customers closer while weaving their magic to maximise profits

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Do you need help with your latest project?

It’s should come as no surprise that the most successful businesses have design innovation at their heart. Graphic designers can help bridge the gap between being a good business and being a great business. Far from just ‘pushing pixels’ and focusing on aesthetics, your designer may well be amongst your greatest business assets. So next time you approach yours with a view to asking them to ‘pretty this up’ or ‘make this look nice’, don’t underestimate the value of their contribution.

Give them the freedom to earn that ‘firework effect’ on behalf of your business. You’ll be glad you did.