Graphic Design is not marketing. Though this statement may ruffle some feathers, read on to learn why…
In marketing you evaluate numbers, analyze data and look towards improving your sales or marketing presence using those factors. Design is actually very different. Strategic design looks into creating emotional connections to humans — not numbers. Using core design principles, we create intentional connections through color, typography, composition. Above all, we carefully craft content hierarchy to help get the marketing message across.
Imagine it like this: a busy room where everyone is yelling to get attention and want their message heard. That setting is overwhelming and highly ineffective — who can really hear through all that chaos?! Now apply this example to graphic design… when you see content that is in your face with no clear structure, it’s hard to follow along, right? Now imagine that in the middle of the mayhem, someone puts up a sign that is easy to read and captures your attention. It’s likely you’re going to actually understand their message. Graphic Design can take the chaos of standing out to a human-centered connection approach.
Graphic design is not marketing or pretty pictures
There is a misconception (in some areas) that graphic design is just about pretty pictures and $99 logos. And it’s often, if not always, the last step in marketing. While graphic design is not marketing, it’s very much a part of the strategy in marketing. If you only call on your designer to push out a quick job, it can actually be counter productive to your goals. Involving your designer as you plan can be of critical benefit. What’s key is that the designer understands your brand essence and marketing goals — that’s how they will create those emotional connections and experiences.
Graphic designers need to understand the goal at hand to support it with the right visuals. If they don’t, you can end up with bland design that makes you think, “I could have done this in Photoshop.” Yikes! Beyond this, it’s important to understand how connected graphic design is with forming first impressions. The wrong design elements can hurt — even tarnish — that first impression. While the right elements can help build curiosity.
What you need to do to accomplish this:
Design and marketing are actually a partnership. They help one another! Having worked with many, many marketers, we’ve seen the power of this link. We each become invested in understanding our goals and can find better solutions and results. It’s far more effective than having someone whip up a last minute graphic. As a strategic design and branding firm, our goal is to partner with clients and understand every angle of their goals, serving the brand mission.
Remember, you are competing in a noisy world. Pretty graphics won’t make your marketing (or branding) standout, just like statics or data won’t sell your brand. Leveraging important information and creating emotional connections to your audience can. Graphic design is not marketing, but it needs to be a partner to it in order to provide strategic solutions.
Got questions? Put them in the comments!
You’ve written it so well, and you have some really good ideas. This post is outstanding!
Being a common student i also confused the term’s marketing with graphic designing but your blog cleared my thoughts and helped me to learn more. i wish that you upload more informative blogs in future
We’re glad this helped clarify the terms! Thank you for sharing your experience.
Informative blog, Thank you for sharing.
Very thorough and well worth reading. The main points are simple to remember. Excellent article.
We’re glad you found our blog insightful!
Great post on the distinction between graphic design and marketing! Here are some actionable tips for businesses to effectively utilize both elements in their brand strategy:
Understand the role of each: Know that graphic design focuses on the visual elements of your brand, while marketing focuses on communicating the value and benefits of your brand to your target audience.
Align design and marketing goals: Ensure that your graphic design and marketing efforts are aligned and support each other. Use your marketing strategy to inform the design choices you make, and use your design elements to reinforce your marketing message.
Invest in high-quality design: Invest in professional and high-quality graphic design to create a strong visual identity for your brand. This will help you stand out from your competitors and communicate the value of your brand effectively.
Test and refine: Continuously test and refine your brand strategy to ensure that your graphic design and marketing efforts are effective. Use analytics, customer feedback, and industry trends to inform your decisions and make data-driven improvements to your strategy.
By following these tips, businesses can effectively utilize both graphic design and marketing in their brand strategy to create a strong and cohesive visual identity, communicate the value of their brand effectively, and drive results.
Great additional insight, Steve! Testing and refining is an important part of the process; we sometimes forget to implement that.