Is it photography? Is it text? Is it shapes and colors? Does graphic design matter? The answer is yes! Graphic design uses all of these to create a visual to communicate a message. And, yes, graphic design matters!
When I needed a visual to go with my recent blog post for Dr. Amber Hinson’s trip to Thailand, I could have simply dropped in a photo of Dr. Hinson and a map of Thailand with a caption. Because I’m lucky enough to have an on demand professional graphic designer (School of Visual Arts graduate no less) I didn’t have to settle for that. I had access to much, much more. A great graphic designer is an artist, and an artist with a particular skill set and a challenge. The challenge is that they are usually executing the vision of another person. They have to listen— to what is potentially a pretty general idea of what their client wants to convey— and then use their skills to create a compelling image that is not only pleasing to the eye, but that also conveys a message. This is the design that Mike came up with for me.
And be advised, there’s a lot more to creating a graphic than opening up a program like photoshop, indesign or corel draw and pushing a few buttons and whipping the mouse around. If that were the case then I could make my own damn graphics. I know how to open all of those programs and a little bit about how to use them. I know enough to spend ALOT of time fannying about and then having Mike take one look at it and always, always turn my muddle into magic.
Because graphic design is much more than making a collage from a bunch of images. A great graphic designer has an eye for composition. They know less is sometimes more. That just because you can include something in the visual, it doesn’t mean that you should. All the elements in the design—from the visual, to the type of font, to the shapes and colors must serve the message and set the tone.
So, in the hands of a graphic designer this photo...
...became these two visuals. Like most clients, I ended up asking Mike to tweak that first image. I wanted two versions. As it turns out, because of her remote location and the internet she has access to, it’s really difficult for Dr. H to get hi-res photos to me to use for any updates from Thailand. I decided that since this graphic was exactly what I wanted (colorful, and eye-catching) Mike could probably adapt it to something I could use for my subsequent posts and sure enough, he did!
What’s my point? Great graphics matter! These days there’s no end of available images on the internet, but why use something that everybody else has? Why not break away and be unique and have your own graphics! Investing in good graphics will go along way to telling your story the way it deserves to be told!