Let me put my cards on the table
I am not a high-end, off-the-wall, crazy-art-project style designer, I don’t do incredibly wacky, deeply conceptual graphic pieces. My style is much more corporate in nature – but that’s fine because the sort of work my clients’ expect is going to be more business-based, which is a wide field in its own right. I am not a precious designer who takes offence easily if my work isn’t liked – I like to think I am pretty pragmatic, but I am not a fan of the idea that my role is to simply ‘beautify’ the existing content.
It’s all about the balance
Despite what some photographers may tell you, it’s not all about the image, neither (sorry writers) is it all about the words, for me it is an equal split between copy, imagery and design. It makes total sense when you think about it: A beautifully designed company brochure with incredible photography will fall flat if the instant the recipient starts to read the copy it turns out to be badly written, full of errors or just plain dull; a website that is written in beautiful, captivating prose, with an eye-catching design will only look half as good if the images are all lo-res, blurred or badly composed; but it is equally true that you can have the best copy and images in the world, but if the layout makes no sense or looks sloppy or amateurish, no-one and I do mean no-one, will bother to read it.
Just make it look pretty?
So what constitutes good graphic design? Like cookery, writing, photography or a million other matters of taste, it is probably easier to find a consensus on the ‘Bad’ rather than the ‘Good’. However, once you eliminate supposedly universally ‘bad design’ things become a little greyer as personal preference takes over. However I am a firm believer that graphic design is as much about the structure as it is the looks, if not more so. There should be a ‘flow’ through the document that is intuitive – this is especially true for me as I have a habit of ‘scan-reading’ everything. There should be clear ‘markers’ such as the title, introduction and paragraph headings. It should be obvious in even the most contemporary and unorthodox layout which paragraph or column of text follows the one you are currently reading. I also think it is good to almost blur your vision a little (especially with front covers) to see how clear the overall impression of the piece is, and this is not just about legibility (although that is important) it’s about ensuring that the piece is not cluttered at all.
Good design should be an integrated part of the marketing not an afterthought. Contact Pixooma today to see how we could work together to make sure your design is the best it can be.