In the age of all-things-digital, visual content reigns supreme. While video popularity is on the rise, graphic design still proves to be a key player in compelling readers and viewers to build a relationship with your brand. If you don’t yet have a working knowledge of graphic design basics, here are some simple rules to follow to make sure you’re stimulating growth and engagement among your ideal customers.
Use Compelling Imagery
Consider this: when you’re flipping through a magazine, what compels you to stop and further peruse a page? It likely wasn’t the text, but rather the image associated with it. Employ striking photos in your design, be it an advertisement to increase sales or an event invitation to launch a new location. In doing so, you entice viewers to read on while also highlighting your cause or expertise.
One widely-known concept in photography is the “rule of thirds,” a simple composition technique which helps make photos more dynamic and intriguing to the eye. This rule is applied by dissecting your image into thirds (9 equal spaces), then lining up the subject of your photo with a focal point created at the intersection of two lines.
Another important component is to ensure your photo quality is aligned with the intent and distribution. If you’re creating a design to be printed, be sure to use a resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch) to ensure your image is clear and precise. When images are to be displayed on a computer or cell phone, you can lower the resolution to 72 DPI. Click here to learn more about resolution and image clarity.
Have a Clear Call to Action
When setting out to create a design, start with a goal and the steps needed to complete it. Ask yourself: what action do I want the viewer to take? Be clear and concise in your “call to action” (CTA). Some common CTAs include “Call Now!” or “Sign up for a FREE subscription.”
Before you publish your work, be sure that the information necessary for readers to take the action is clearly visible. This could mean making a phone number, website link, or address prominent and near the CTA itself.
Make It Trackable
How will you know if your design drove traffic to your website or if it was the source of an influx of service calls? A very effective way to measure the success of your design is to have tracking tools in place to chart engagement over time.
If you’re publishing on a social media platform, many analytic tools begin tracking once you hit “post.” Facebook advertisements, for example, can tell you how many users clicked through from your ad to the linked website and can list how many users watched your video. If you’re deciding between two primary images, consider split testing (commonly referred to as A/B testing). This form of comparison requires the delivery of two identical ads with one change (i.e. same text and links with a different photo). You can use the tracking information to judge what image was most effective.
For a hard-copy print project where real-time analytics are not available, consider including a unique tracking phone number to log calls that come in from a particular piece. If you have a set of two designs in public view, you can use different phone numbers on each to test which performs best.
You can also, for either digital or print work, create a landing page on your website specific to the topic of the design. The page can be specific to the campaign, or be a custom link that redirects to an existing page. By employing landing pages, you are able to monitor how many people visited your site via the link on your work.
You can dive deep into the world of graphic design to discover more information on the intricacies of typography, photo manipulation, project-specific tools and more. These beginner tips will help you on your way to effective design to ultimately increase audience awareness and revenue.
For more information about how effective design and visual content can help bring awareness to your brand, contact us today.