We must separate concepts, "design" is a tool that is used to strengthen visual communication and transmit more clearly the message you want to convey. Design is not an art for the simple fact that it has to look pretty, or striking; the design has to fulfill a purpose for which it was created and this is supported by artistic resources to facilitate the association, clear understanding of concepts towards the public who is the recipient of the message.
Now let's get into the subject, nowadays we are all creative, we all have an idea or we have a message to communicate the issue in this topic is how to organize these elements supporting it in graphic design to fulfill my mission and successfully achieve my goal.
Let's start with this definition that I loved:
Graphic Design can be defined as a visual communication system, achieved through the combination of an objective, an aesthetic and a projection:
Objective: the design must have a rationale, a clear intention and a well-defined target audience.
Aesthetics: interaction of art, its plastic and technical resources. The quality design must be consistent with the trends and profiles of the target audience to whom it is addressed
Projection: novelty and authenticity in the dissemination of a message.
The graphic design relies on various components to carry out its task, these are: color, geometric shapes, photography, typography, illustration, layout, among others.
Perfect so far we agree, but what are those 5 things I need to know to communicate through the design if I'm not a designer, or I'm a junior in the area, or you need to design and you do not have the budget to hire someone. These 5 things are:
1. Define your message / according to your objective: The message is the first thing you have to organize according to the design objective you need to make, you do not need to go to a design program, you must build a message where you clearly express what you want this design to communicate . This way it will be easier to organize in a hierarchical way where each element of the art we are building will be located.
Let's take a simple example, you have an enterprise or you manage a brand of jewelry accessories, and a special date like San Valentin is approaching, you want to create a design to promote your merchandise because you know they are safe sales. You already have a purpose to make the art, we would say the objective, now it is time to define the message, * Make that special being feel like a jewel *, when you define the message, you have the gained path, because you have built it based on An objective.
2. Define your audience: With a clear, objective message, you must be clear about how your audience behaves, how they talk, what they like, what they do not like, what kind of jewelry they buy, their level of acquisition, as this will indicate If you are on a good path with your message or that you should change the message. This is going to facilitate and save a lot of money, because if you have a nice message and the wrong audience, you are not doing anything, on the contrary you are losing money, time, being forgotten, away from possible sales.
The best way to avoid, this tragic scenario is having your target audience as clear and accurate as possible, aligned with your message, that this project your goal to measure and know if design has fulfilled its purpose.
3. Define where your design will interact: It is important to understand where your design will interact; social networks, printed, on television or maybe it will be at a specific street point, there is a whole psychology behind this, human beings although in front of a TV, and a cell phone are the same, we do not interact the same, weird , but this is how we must understand this point because we can use it to our advantage, or we can miss it, there are several techniques for example in social networks where we can use the design as a promotional bait for our customers to interact with the brand, take a specific action, share our philosophy and identify themselves becoming these ambassadors of our brand. I clarify, all this must start from the design objective, which we touch on point number one, we can never do anything without an objective, measurable because it is like going out with a gun to shoot blindly and that will make us lose money.
This approach can save large amounts of money. Let's go with the example, let's say we have the objective, message with a more or less clear concept, we know very well our public, which goes from 24 to 27 years, a woman, of a high middle class, with a higher income flow than 35,000 pesos, with a partner, this happens about 5 hours a day on instagram, so do not try harder, to see channels to publish the design, focus on instagram and take advantage of everything it offers, call post, history, ads, influencers, micro influencers, hashtags, your own profile and links to your website, get emails to close more sales and do not get out of there, ask yourself why invest in TV, if all my audience is here and lasts more than 5 hours in instagram!
4. Less is more: It's a cliché phrase that I love, with crazy things, sometimes those who do not know the design or who start designing, maybe in the cases where you have to solve with what you have, we go running to a program of design without first going through the 3 things that we mentioned, sounds familiar?
The truth is that, most of these cases saturate the design and the main message is lost, there is no order, and the goal is equal. Less is more, when you have the message there is an order of hierarchy that must be respected, visually the human eye captures the larger or the contrasts easier than when everything is the same size or the same color. We learn to organize and differentiate what is most important stands out, what is not so priority is in the background and what is only for decoration ends up being in a third plane.
Let's put it this way, if you're already sketching how you want your art to look, the simplest thing is to leverage art, colors, shapes, to aesthetically decorate the message and make it look striking and attractive to the public , take a pencil and a paper and start distributing as it makes more sense where everything should go, with what size the main message should go and this one which should stand out on the other elements should be in x position, etc, remember there are always layouts or forms already established and tested, we do not have to reinvent the wheel, we can see how professionals organize these content structure and adapt them to our design, if you are not very expert or you have no idea how to start and please do not satures with 5 different types of letters NO, is a bad practice, 3 maximum and plays with their shapes but do not mutilate the design before going out into the world.
Remember less is more, do not overload the visual unless it fulfills the purpose, remember that it is not an abstract work of art, the message must be understood by the receiver or your audience will see * consume, the design . This part is very important.
5. The program does not matter, finally, people think that professional design is only done in programs like photoshop and very far from reality, each program fulfills different purposes, the design covers many areas also therefore the programs tend to specialize to meet these requirements. A logo has different requirements than a poster, such as designing a web page.
There are many free resources if you are not very knowledgeable about these tools that will make life much easier if you are a non-enterprising designer, or if you are starting in this world of design, canvas is a good example where it is online and free it offers predefined templates where you only have to organize the message and it is so flexible that it allows you to put and remove elements, among an endless number of them.
Remember that designing without purpose is like wanting people to understand a Picasso painting when in reality you are selling some Jewels on the occasion of Valentine's Day, do not force your clients to think or ignore what you really want to transmit as a brand.
Look at this list of online tools that can make your life easier when designing:
1. https://www.canva.com/ - Post social networks / flyers / invitations / etc
2. https://www.freepik.com/ Freepik - vector resources and free images
3. https://unsplash.com/ - Free photos
4. https://spark.adobe.com/ - Here you can make videos / Post social networks / flyers / invitations / etc