In today’s world, we are surrounded with information. Whether self-created or coming at us, much of it is communicated visually and it’d be fair to say that many people have a voracious visual appetite. Because of this, how something is communicated then becomes very important.
Let’s talk about how this can play out on social media. A post can be just a post (“Blah…ok, hmm. Pass”) or a post can stop you in your tracks and really engage you (“Wow! I would love to be there right now” or “Yes, that’s totally me!”). A key factor in getting you that second reaction is graphic design. Striking the right chord with viewers from the first glance is crucial.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines graphic design as, “the art of profession of using design elements (such as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect also : a product of this art.” That last bit there about creating an effect, that’s what we’re going for. It’s our job as graphic designers, to help you shape visual content to create an effect—impact your viewer in a particular way. The kind of an effect you’d like to create is up to you and the story of your brand.
If you’re reading this blog, then I’d venture to say you’re familiar with the types of visual content but just as a refresh, here are a few examples: illustrations, photography, videos, animation, quotes and infographics. Each one of these forms of communication can be enhanced by great graphic design. Here are some design elements to take into consideration when creating posts:
—Color: Do you have a theme for certain types of posts? Do your photos have a tint or mood to them? Do the colors marry to the tone of voice of your brand? Have you considered complimentary colors or are you sticking with a more homogeneous palette?
—Contrast: The difference between light and dark in an image. High contrast images will have bright highlights and dark shadows, bold colours, and show texture in the subject. Low contrast images will have a narrow range of tones and might therefore feel flat or dull. Adding in an element of contrast can help your post stand out. This can be done with any element of design.
—Typography: Make sure your text is easy to read on a phone since the majority of viewers will be seeing your posts there. More succinct posts, in terms of text as “image” is preferred. Font choice can really affect perception so make sure the font you choose is correct. Are you looking for something bold, feminine, quiet, friendly, hard, child-like, handwritten, old, modern, etc.? There is a font that will evoke that; thereby enhancing your message.
—Style: Create a style for your brand. Another way to look at this would be you could create templates or guides of how certain types of posts, let’s say quotes, could always look. The benefit of this is two-fold: one, the viewer learns to know what the content is and two, when looking at your feed as a whole they get a visual break or pause for their eyes as there is some continuity in the visual medley.
Ultimately, a design needs to communicate. I believe it should be simple yet powerful, logical yet emotional, and informative yet inquisitive.
Your design choices allow individuals to know who you are and in the case of most of you, you’d like them to identify with you and be part of your tribe. If you’d like to stand out against the masses, use the skills of a talented graphic designer to help you hone in on creating strong, effective messaging. Nail down your brand, your story, your aesthetic so there is no doubt what you’re all about.
Hope you found that helpful. If you need help, Mara knows how to get ahold of me :)