Dealing with the Covid19 pandemic, nations across the world have made it necessary to reduce physical contact, thus resulting in all sorts of shifts in many industries. To be specific, we have witnessed a sharp increase in online activities, such as shopping. Online stores have started to see more growth than ever, while malls, shopping complexes, and places that used to cater to high volumes of foot traffic, have been evaluating their operations. That being said, one of the best options available to a business so it can keep up is utilizing effective branding strategies.
This is where some knowledge and technical knowhow on modern graphic design can be significant. Reading up on the stories of famous graphic designers, like Paula Scher and Harvey Ball, and finding out how their marketing campaigns worked can be insightful. Whether you are a business owner, a budding entrepreneur, or a consumer, being aware of how graphic design works in the world of branding can help you better understand buyer behavior.
Harvey Ball, as mentioned earlier, is known as the graphic designer behind the iconic smiley face. Yes, the yellow-filled circle with a downward curve for its mouth and two black dots for eyes, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts back in 1963. Ball had been commissioned by an insurance company to create something that would improve morale in their office. And while there is no concrete evidence regarding its effectiveness on staff morale, the smiley face’s influence has been much, much bigger.
Imagine posters of a smiley face all across a city that had no previous idea or interaction with the graphic — how would the people inhabiting this city react? Would it make them think? Would the image make them smile? If a text that said, “SMILE,” had been typed below the smiley face graphic — would that be more effective?
Posters serve a single purpose: to communicate. Using posters to inform an audience goes back in history, from spreading public information to commercial advertising, it has also been a traditional tool for propaganda. For businesses that rely on the internet as its platform, the poster is still useful as it is necessary. We are visual creatures after all, and a poster does not need to be printed in physical form to be utilized. “To attract, persuade, and provoke action” — are these not the most basic factors for a poster to be effective?
Posters in digital form can be just as effective as the traditional printed ones, so long as both content and design are crafted with a careful and sound strategy. If the desired outcome for Ball’s smiley face graphic was to boost morale, the first question that should be answered is: “What would boost the morale of my staff?”
If the answer to that question is to see them smiling more often, then a poster of the smiley face with a text that says “SMILE!” could indeed be an effective way towards improving morale in the office.
A modern approach to graphic design and marketing is the typography logo. Through excellent and creative means, an organization or a business can introduce themselves with the typography logo. By applying graphic design techniques on words and letters to tell a story about their brand, one can influence consumer behavior. One factor that makes an impact on the market is a brand and its recall; because by making an impression through a clever typographical logo, a company knows that it made a connection.
For example: whenever a consumer sees a check-mark, the first brand that can possibly come to mind is Nike, and whether or not this person is thinking about buying a new pair of basketball shoes, Nike has succeeded — it has imprinted its logo on the consumer. If, for example, seeing three stripes and liking this design makes the same consumer feel guilty, then Nike and its check-mark has indeed succeeded. There is such a thing as brand loyalty. Nike’s success is built over decades of providing excellent products and executing effective marketing strategies. From having the Nike typography and its check-mark logo together on all its shoes, clothes, and bags, the company’s success is manifested in the way it has gained enough recall to drop the typography for just the logo.
Knowing how crucial graphic design is in the execution of a brand’s marketing strategies can make or break a campaign. It is necessary that the goals for the team are aligned, so that upon implementation, the organization can see how all efforts are contributing towards one common goal, such as influencing buyer behavior. As a business, what do you want from your target audience? What measures are needed towards improving your posters? Is typography a good way to get this message across? Just some points to ponder on.