Somehow, I was the only graphic designer who was a guest speaker at the Silicon Mountain Conference 2017. The conference was themed “Building Profitableand Scalable ventures.” I had initially planned to talk about how I was able to grow my favour-for-friend business to a regional graphic design powerhouse. At exactly 2am sitting in my chair in my room, I scratched it out. That was a very irrelevant topic. The aim of the conference was not to show off how I was nursing a graphic design startup in Cameroon; hence my topic.
I shared a slide I had prepared that morning and people loved it.
· What is Graphic Design?
“The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisement, books or magazines” — Wikipedia.
“The Science which involves visual representation to an appropriate audience” — Bine Moukouri.
The key word here is “audience”. Just like every form of multimedia, information that is passed to the wrong audience is a tragic waste. Imagine designing a flyer for a food event for kids and your graphic designer uses photos of strippers. Or a vegetarian event, and photos of all kind of beef used in the visual material..
Simply put. People are only going to feel concerned about information that is meant for them and so going against this very fundamental rule of design is already a bummer. Since this piece is about convincing you that graphic design is a Marketing bazooka, that means you had lost before the race even started.
All say “weh”….
I always remind ignorant clients/friends that like doctors and Engineers, Graphic Designers are Solution-oriented and earn a living from solely providing solutions for brands. Have you ever seen a brand’s Marketing campaign without visuals??
Marketing is about selling. A game of winning new clients. Most times without them having tested your product/good/service/experience. This is how Graphic design solves Marketing problems.
Basically, there are three Visual marketing problems;
- Information Overload
- Story Telling
1.) INFORMATION OVERLOAD
In a world full with information, our brains are in a constant fight to pick just what is relevant. Same thing with potential clients, customers, and the undecided. A study from Microsoft Corp says the human attention span is about 8 seconds. Image you standing at the famous TIME SQUARE in the U.S or AKWA in Douala, Cameroon. There is a war of brands. We are constantly bombarded with flyers, billboards, music, videos, performances etc.. between competing and non-competing brands.
Get ready to get your hearts broken, but you don’t even know your brain has assimilated every information it receives with the use of your senses, but it considers some of that information unimportant.
Graphic design comes in to make visuals more memorable. He who woos with stronger visuals, that make other visuals look insignificant wins.
Marketing is a Game of Speed. He who woos in less time wins.
Clients and potential investors don’t have time. We are living in a time when the clock governs how we go about our lives. Everyone is in a haste and With our 8 seconds focus span, e go hard oo.
Imagine a student at the University who is interested in movies. The Challenge is to get your message across and win him/her within those 8 seconds and make them want to stop to read before they get distracted or decide to go about their day and make sure they come back to your flyer later.
Marketing is a Game of Telling stories. He who woos with a story with less words wins. Imagine 2 advertisement from Nike Cameroon. Lol. A very prominent thing or a rising trend in the Cameroonian Graphic design ecosystem is to have all information on a 4x4 artboard. The client emphasizes bold text, large photos and wants every information on the flyer.
So which is easier to read?
Because they went straight to the point. The problem with B is over explaining. Just after 2 seconds, the flyer B will be ditched.
Why? Simply because, Time no dey!
“A good designer knows how to put information into the design, but a great designer, knows which information is not necessary.” — Paul Rand.
Having seen how all these problems? Here are a few remedies.
What I have dubbed, the CPDM* approach
*Disclaimer — I AM NOT A POLITICIAN. CPDM stands for:
C — Convince with your face
P — Photos with Stories.
D — Design with Principles.
M — Make money with Money
C — Convince with your face.
Your logo is just the face of your company. An attractive logo, like the very attractive Instagram models are a deal breaker! Contrary to the common misconception that it will directly have an impact on the service.
PS: I know companies with crappy logos that provide awesome experiences.
your product First impression counts. If you are a business, your logo should be enough to communicate seriousness, trustworthiness and reliability. You need to find yourself an excellent graphic design firm, which can work on all your marketing needs.
WE, of course, hope that it is BINE MOUKOURI STUDIOS!
We are a Buea Graphic Design startup that works for companies anywhere!!! We provide a wide array of graphic design services! Ranging from Logos/Brand Identity, flyers, motion graphics, web design & web development and More.
But enough about my company
P — Photos with Stories.
The first rule of Marketing (I think) is proper dissemination of information. Every message with an engaging photo, Image, design.
I wrote a post on Facebook some time ago about how I felt when I first watched KUNGFU PANDA 3. Great movie but I had like 6 likes in 2 weeks!
To my utmost surprise, I randomly posted a photo of my personal assistant and her hot friends with Caption “Last Night” and I got 100 likes overnight and my friends keep talking about that photo as one of the best group photo we have.
IMAGES! My personal assistant A good photo, design post is more memorable than just letters. Ever heard of the superiority effect? It is a phenomenon where pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words.
D — Design Principles.
There are a thousand design principles, I’ll discuss the ones I live by and let you find out the rest
Minimalism: Minimalism is a thought process rather than an end look. If you design with the goal is to make it minimalist. The concept is involves creating elements that are absolutely necessary without adding anymore value-less clutter.
Information Hierarchy: This involves visual organization so much so that the Design in itself guides the eye to the information in a specific order for a specific purpose.
Contrast: Contrast refers to the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colours, rough v. smooth textures) in a piece to create visual interest, excitement and drama.
Limiting Typeface: While using text in design, always do your best to never exceed two typefaces. It creates a feel of steadiness and individuality.
Use these four tools and you are good to go!
M — Make Money for with Money.
If you consider your company as your ‘baby’, Look at your Graphic designer as your company’s pediatrician or as your brand’s health care specialist. Your graphic designer may not always be correct but he has the right tools and knowledge to assist you in the visual development of your brand.
Its but normal that you have to pay them. A fairly good Graphic designer in Cameroon charges about 70,000xaf for a logo. You who wants to pay 20,000xaf for a logo, have you tried asking ENEO or CAMWATER to give you a discount when you are on your way to pay your bills?
I thought as much…
If you make good design, you will impress, when you impress, you win now clients, when you win new clients, you sell, when you sell you make money, when you make more money after design, you just boosted your sales.
You’re Welcome ;)
If you did like this article (or not), please remember the aroma of your favourite dish and leave a response. Life isn’t always that serious! 😅
Check out my Instagram — @binemoukouri,
My Facebook Page — Bine Moukouri Studios
and add me on snapchat @binemoukouri . I swear, I’m cool.