Graphic Design

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Get noticed with eye-catching collateral designed and produced by Graphcom Creative.

What is graphic design?

You encounter examples of graphic design each day. From the newspaper on your doorstep to the myriad number of magazines that line the racks at the supermarket check-out counter, graphic design is at the heart of these materials. Graphic design is more than just words and images on a page. Successful graphic design accomplishes the following objectives:

  • Attracts attention.
  • Creates a value-added message.
  • Forges a consumer relationship with and identity for a product or service.
  • Improves readability by presenting and organizing information.
  • Joins separate elements (text, photos, charts, graphs, etc.) into a unified whole.

Graphic design can add clarity, consistency and a sense of purpose to your informational and promotional material. Annual reports, business cards, calendars, catalogs, envelopes, letterhead, magazines and newsletters are examples of some of the materials your business can use to communicate its mission, message, products and services. And graphic design can enhance and personalize the presentation of your brand identity and message to your audience.

What are the steps in the graphic design process?

Graphic design isn’t an end product; it’s a process that first begins with an assessment of your needs, purpose and audience.

First, determine your audience and the purpose for your message. Are you trying to convince, inform or inspire members of your audience?

Second, you’ll need to decide where and how you’ll want to present your message. Do you want to highlight your company’s achievements through an annual report? Do you have a new product that you’d like to promote through a brochure? These are questions you’ll need to consider when planning where and how you’ll communicate your message and how you’ll achieve your goals.

Once you’ve determined the scope and type of presentation, you’ll want to consider visual elements of design: graphics, logos, photographs and text presentation. Use the following guidelines when making design decisions:

  • Determine the purpose of your final product.
  • Identify the primary message you want to communicate.
  • Shape a profile of your target audience.
  • Gauge the interests of your target audience.
  • Take into account background, reading level, etc. of your target audience.

Think about how the following elements will work together in your final product: line, shape, texture, space, size, color, balance, rhythm, emphasis and unity. Working together, these components can achieve harmony and continuity of the pages in your newsletter, brochure, calendar or corporate logo. And graphic design can be used to shape your visual identity, communicating your mission and vision. The graphics, photos and typefaces all work together to shape your brand, share your message and create a signature style that will form an impression about you and your business in the minds of your audience. What do you want your materials to say about you?

Why invest in graphic design?

Let’s say you plan to publish a quarterly newsletter that will share timely news and product information with your current and potential customers. You’ve identified the purpose of your publication and the message you want to communicate. You’ve created a profile of your target audience. You’ve even prepared your copy and collected your images. How do you put all of these parts together? That’s where a graphic designer can help take your ideas from concept to creation. A graphic designer can help you achieve your objectives while maintaining your brand identity.

You’ll want to arrange a meeting where you discuss your project with a graphic designer. To make the most of your meeting, you’ll want to provide the following information:

  • Profile of your target audience
  • Message you want to communicate
  • Specifications (for example: branding standards, print run quantity, special inks, etc.)
  • Budget for the project, if applicable
  • Deadline for the project

In addition to addressing the above points, the graphic designer will also look to you to provide some creative direction. You may want to incorporate certain colors and typefaces into the design of your project to complement the colors and typefaces in your company logo. If you want your piece to match your existing material, bring a sample for the graphic designer to examine. 

What can I expect from the graphic design process?

After your initial meeting, you will receive an outline of the content and goal of the project in addition to a proposal that outlines the costs and scope of work covered in the project. Take time to examine the proposal; be sure you and your designer are in agreement with the costs and scope of work. Your designer may show you simple sketches of logo concepts or line drawings of layouts showing where elements will be placed on a page. These will give you the opportunity to determine whether the ideas presented correlate with your goals for the project.

Once preliminary sketches are approved, the designer will concentrate on the actual design phase of the project and present you with one, two or several concepts, depending on how many options you propose. As you review the designer’s work, it’s important to understand how and why the designer used colors, typefaces and layout to communicate your unique message. The choice of colors, layouts, typefaces all have subtle but important influences on how individuals perceive your business and your message. Remember, the designer is working with you in a collaborative process, so don’t be afraid to seek explanations on design decisions if you have questions about the designs.

How much do these design services cost? It depends on the complexity of your project. But if you can conceive it, we can design a project that meets your needs and stays within your budget.

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