Blog March 2020

The Importance of Design

 

As a graphic designer with more than 10 years of experience, it may not come as a surprise that I want to focus on what good user experience (UX) design is.

With today’s technology, a “professional” design app is available at anyone’s finger-tips and can is no further than a download away! While this makes designing content much more convenient and easy for many, this can cause people to either downplay the importance of a professional UX designer, or to now consider themselves to be one.

I believe there is definitely a time and place for these design apps, but there will never be a replacement for a seasoned graphic designer. You see… just because someone can make something look nice doesn’t mean it is designed well.

Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of design. The main difference between graphic design and “art” is that graphic design is trying to convey a message, and ideally initiate a response. In my opinion, all designed pieces should have an answer each of the following principals: Space, Balance, Hierarchy/Call-To-Action, Typography, and Branding. Let’s talk a bit about these:

Space

Knowing where to place every element in any given space is extremely important. Playing with positive AND negative space can bring your piece to the next level.

Balance

No-one likes being off balance… and neither do your designs! Make sure to off-set elements to keep everything zen.

Hierarchy and Call-To-Action

This is arguably one of the most important principles of UX design. Why bother designing anything if it doesn’t accomplish why it was created in the first place? Hierarchy directs the viewer to where they should be directing their attention. It’s a sort of roadmap to bring someone through the graphic piece to ultimately make them take an action at the end.

Typography

Typography is more than selecting a fun font to use in your design… and lets just get this out of the way… never ever (ever) use Comic Sans, Zapfino, or Papyrus… just don’t! With that being said, the font you use says a lot about who you are and what you’re about. Also, the relation of multiple fonts to each other and how they are used together speaks (literal) words.

Branding

Lastly, we have to remember that we can accomplish all of the above, but if the viewer doesn’t know (or worse, is confused about) who the message is coming from, then that work has gone down the drain. Branding needs to be consistent and structured. With repetition, someone should be able to know who the message if from with a glance.

Take all of the above with a grain of salt. Each one of these principles need to be used as a guideline, and these rules can be bent. Apps that allow for quick design assets to be created are great, but they should be used in moderation. No one can take these principles and learn how to use them together overnight; it takes years of practice and education. Engaging a professional UX graphic design will do yourself and your brand a huge favor!


Garrett Rockafellow serves as Marketing & Graphic Design Coordinator, bringing with him 10 years of experience in the marketing and design field. Garrett's design work focuses on both function and form, and he aims to develop print and web marketing collateral that is both beautifully-designed and helps our clients meet their unique goals. Garrett holds a BS in Visual Communication Arts: Graphic Design and a BS in Business: Marketing from Liberty University.