Making good design choices

To represent that pitch decks include a variety of content such as infographics, icons, copy and data

Graphic design is a powerful tool used by companies, marketers, businesses, presenters, and so much more. Visual storytelling offers a creative and engaging way to communicate messages and captivate audiences.

In this blog, we’ll look at some parts of the design processes used by professional graphic designers, and I will offer a few value-added professional tips, which can be used whether you choose to hire a professional graphic designer or not.

Captivating your Audience
Strategic graphic design can help a company grow in many ways. Currently, we are all overwhelmed and moving too fast, and sometimes we present ideas that seem clear to us, but others do not understand our message, brand, product, or service. How many times have you visited a website that left you confused about their service or product? Or watched a PowerPoint presentation that lacked engagement and organization. Communication is important and it should be done with great and careful clarity. A strategic designer understands how to define and demystify complex information, and how to transform it into something visually appealing and understandable without losing the most important meaning and information. This can be accomplished in different ways for different projects. For example, by cleaning up a presentation that has too much copy, redesigning a complicated idea or concept, visually storytelling a website to connect with users and guide them through a funnel, rebranding a company so for a particular niche, and transforming a large document into an accessible website. The examples can go on forever.

Your brand is your calling card
Your company has a unique brand and style that projects a feeling and an experience with its customers creating trust, confidence, connection, and identity. I have worked with clients who neglect to include their company brand logo, design elements, and expressions in their business presentations and material. Neglecting the importance of the brand to be carried over into every aspect of your business is a mistake. Having a company brand and visual identity tells the world that you are serious, professional, reliable, and dependable and that you are here to stay. You have taken the time to think this through, and it adds credibility and trust that should not be taken lightly. There really isn’t one size fits all!

Nowadays there are so many resources available online and one might argue why should I hire a designer. This is true, there are a lot of resources and with sites like Canva, you can get a lot done that looks half-decent. But a good designer takes your content a step further.  They design with the information in mind. Rather than creating just a pretty picture, design with purpose, meaning, strategy, and content organization. A capable designer knows how and in what format to organize your information to make it accessible, pop something important, and apply typographical hierarchy. Your brand is important and should be treated and applied correctly and with continuity, even if your company does not have a brand or style guide.

Think through your choice of tone, mood, and style
Color, typography, and imagery set the tone, and mood and create connection. The style of your projects can impact customers in unconscious ways. They are the foundation for and the backbone of your content, and your choices become your brand’s core messaging. Color choice, typography, and imagery have their own predetermined socially constructed identities. Blue is melancholic and colder, and red reflects anger, intensity, passion, and heat. Furthermore, which graphics you choose can set a mood and tell a story within seconds. If your brand needs a logo, secondary identity elements, style guide, or brand audit, we would love to help.

Reduce the complexity so that the essence of your message can speak
An experienced designer is able to transform complex concepts and simplify them into a visual story, process, timeline, and architecture for print and digital products. Simplifying complex concepts can be done using information design, infographics, photos, icons, and visual metaphors that suggest or show relationships. A picture is worth a thousand words. A well-placed, cropped, and visual metaphor can create a profound impact and captivate the attention of your customers and audience. Showing relationships and using real-world examples can produce Aha! moments, especially with complex information that previously confused the viewer.

Information design and infographic design provide businesses with value
We live in a fast-moving, data-driven world, where people want the bottom line quickly and clearly. Therefore, tapping into the power of information design and infographic design is a smart and powerful option for communicating complex content to customers and colleagues for meetings, presentations, websites, and any other form of communication. These days it is not enough to write a text-based report, storytelling has an impact and drives communication more than ever, and visual storytelling is what people want.

So, what´s the difference between information design and infographic design? Functionally, they have some similarities. They both use content and data to create visual stories and they often overlap. Information design distills and reorganizes large quantities of content or information (visuals and/or text) to make the information more accessible, easier to read and understand, and use. Infographic design transforms text-heavy content into a visual story with limited copy and maintains the most important information. In both cases, the viewer can grasp the information quicker and often it is presented more clearly.

Confusion and boredom do not win trophies
We’ve all sat through meetings where the presenter simply read off a text-heavy and dry presentation. It was tedious and boring, lacked information retention, and important concepts were easily missed. Alternatively, a presentation, which uses compelling graphic design, not only highlights your brand but also engages your audience and increases information comprehension and retention.

We had a client with an 80-page document that no one wanted to read because it was overwhelming and therefore, not easily accessible by your audience. Understanding the audience, the problem, and their needs is important in identifying a solution. In this case, we broke the information up into accessible chunks and transformed it into a website.

Sufficient white space increases readability and comprehension
Maintaining sufficient white space increases readability and is a key component in creating a design that is pleasing, understandable, and clear. I call it ¨kicking out the noise¨ and it makes or breaks spatial balance, which can influence whether the design captivates or confuses the target audience. This is particularly important for corporate design projects, such as presentations and annual reports, but also for digital ones, like websites, dashboards, and apps.

Professional credibility matters
Recently, a client told me that our “design services made her company look more professional.” That was music to my ears! I loved hearing about the value BRAIT Studio provided.  I truly believe that how you present to your customers influences their decisions about doing business with you. How they feel about your professionalism, and the quality of your work puts them at ease and gives them confidence, and clear communication is essential. Clients are the lifeline of our business. Therefore, our company philosophy is that the customer´s success is our success, and their projects are our projects, which is why I work and collaborate as a partner with my clients.

In a world where everything is shared on social media, great graphics help with the shareability of your information. If it provides value and connection, it’s far more likely to be shared quickly and frequently. Humanity in design is core. Taking the time to make something that people can connect with increases the chances of more customers knocking on your door.

Some things to consider when working with a designer
If you have an idea that you want to explore and need a professional designer’s perspective, you should reach out to one. Design is strategic, and it is and should be an iterative process, which means the initial conversation focused on idea development and exploration is one of the most important meetings you will have with your designer. I am a very exploratory designer. I like to dig into the details, ask WHY and help clients to figure out what is the best design direction to take a project. Discovery interviewing is useful when an idea is complex and needs to get mapped out in a low-fidelity form, especially for infographics, logos, and digital products.

Final thoughts
I have experience helping clients strategically organize their ideas and project so they can move quickly and efficiently from concept to design through project completion. My expertise is in digging into the details, demystifying information and data, and visual storytelling, and I have experience working on information design, infographic design, graphic design, and UX design projects.

I work as a partner collaboratively with clients. If you have a project in mind, please feel free to schedule a meeting to discuss it.


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