How to Use Graphic Design to Get to Second Base
So you want to tell your customers everything that you have to offer, why it would make their lives so much better and easier and how with just a few of their dollars you could use your unique value proposition to improve their lives or their work and change the experience from being mediocre to truly amazing – the problem, is that you are trying to fit all of that onto a business card or an A5 flyer.
YOUR CUSTOMERS NEED TO GET TO KNOW YOU.. BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE
Imagine you are sitting down at a small restaurant table, you are nervous because you are about to meet someone for the first time. A friend has organised the date and you don’t know much about the other person so when you see them walk in and sit down you are altogether intriguing as well as cautious. Then.. without warning, they take out small, beautiful and well worn notebook proceeding to talk, in monotone and at length about how great they are, how hard they work and how lovely a life with them would inevitably be and how assured it will be…
And the entire time, what are you thinking? How quick can I leave, where are the exits and I hope I’m not forced to spend any more time with this person. It doesn’t matter if all of those facts are real or not.. emotion, as it turns out, matters far more than most businesses think.
Below are just a few things to think about when you want your next project to be your customers best first date ever!
WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CIUSTOMER?
It’s important to remember that not everybody is your customer, while you can certainly build your brand up to appeal to a huge audience, it’s essential to start small, if possible rather than thinking about a customer target, find (or create) a real(ish) person. When your are writing your content or thinking about how to structure and design it, think about that person and what would be most interesting or most valuable to them.
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT BEATS?
Hierarchy is one of the most important rules in design, essentially you want to make sure that the most important information is the easiest and quickest thing to digest. In this way, even if you are required to show a huge amount of info you can still make sure that your customer doesn’t leave having seen your content feeling completely unaffected (Whether your project is designed to be loved or hated, getting your customers to feel something is ALWAYS better than nothing.. ALWAYS).
WHAT WILL BE MOST INTERESTING TO YOUR CUSTOMER?
Once you have a list of the most important things that you want to communicate to your customer through your design project – it’s time to think about what will most interest your ideal customer. Hint: The points that are most interesting to your customer, are the most important to convey out of all the things on your list. This is because no matter how much you want to sell something or how compelling the actual thing might be, much like our monotone friend, if you fail to hold your customers interest.. your project has failed. full stop.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR CUSTOMERS TO DO?
Often referred to in the graphic design and marketing industry as a ‘call to action’ – no matter what your design project is, it should contain something that is either going to move your customer into performing an action, or actually asking your customer to do something. Without this key piece of the puzzle, even if your content is well structure and interesting, your customer may still not react in the way that you hope they will. Sometimes people are simply preoccupied or more often now, distracted by electronic devises (I’m looking at you iPhone notifications), so it isn’t necessarily that they don’t want to do something, but that without any direct message or urgency, they are simply more likely to think about putting it off until later.. and summarily forgetting about it.
So the next time you start a graphic design project, leave some time to think about your customer and how best to make them feel special. Whether it be through an actual product, or simply by helping to make your customers lives simpler or happier through beautifully designed collateral that shares your message on their terms.
Graphic Design, Print Design, Web Design + Problem Solving
Hi! I’m Chris, a senior graphic designer based in Ipswich, Australia with over 15 years of industry experience developing and designing solutions to tricky business problems. In the course of my career to date I have worked in creating everything from large eccommerce websites and social media content online, to point of sale marketing materials, internationally sold products, packaging, catalogues and magazines. I’m passionate about problem solving and love to get into the bones of a project before helping to bring it to life.