Graphic Design Tips

Effective graphic design

Create Graphic Designs
That Stick

Graphic design is all around us. From TV commercials and magazine ads to the ones you barely notice, like billboards and street signs, graphic design is a key element in conveying information. Sometimes a simple image like a crosswalk sign tells us everything we need to know in a split second. With thousands of examples of graphic design presented to us each day, how many can you recall?

The key to effective graphic design is not only making something that looks good, but remains in the minds of your audience for a length of time and inspires them to take action. As you utilize REACH’s extensive design features, keep these tips in mind to create signage that your viewers will remember.

STICK TO YOUR BRANDING

Beauty In Simplicity

Let’s take a look at the two design examples. While the one on the top is beautiful and well-crafted in its own right, it is unlikely to appear on any company logo. The complexity of it would make it hard to attribute it to any brand. However, you would be hard-pressed to find someone around the world who does not recognize the golden arches.

The point here is that simplicity is not always a bad thing. Concise, easy-to-understand images will make your layouts more memorable. This can be applied to text as well. Rather than lengthy paragraphs, try to narrow down your messaging to a few words. The key to simplicity is honing in on one key message and implementing design elements that contribute to that message. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming your viewers. A model we see used often is a headline, image, and call to action. Keeping a design to just these three elements can help keep your messaging focused and maintain a sense of flow throughout.

Typography IS KEY

Fonts Matter

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that does not mean you should overlook your typography! Whether a headline or body text, odds are you will likely employ some type of text in your signage at some point. When you are employing text, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first and arguably most important of which is that your fonts should be large and easy to read. A good rule of thumb is if you can still read it from a good distance, then you have a winning font. Sans Serif fonts are usually safe bets, as they are modern, clean, and minimalistic.

However, this does not mean you should use every Sans Serif font you come across. Too many fonts will make your signage seem chaotic and messy, which will turn viewers away from your message. Finally, being concise is key. You may not remember the preamble of the Constitution, but as shown in our previous example, you probably remember where “I’m Lovin’ It” comes from.

Influence for your brand

Taking Action

While getting eyes on your signage is great, the real value comes from delivering messaging that inspires your audience to take a certain action. These actions will result in greater sales and influence for your brand. Your messaging wants to inspire customers to act a certain way, as doing so makes it easier to present a call to action. Often, instilling suspense or curiosity that can only be relieved by taking said action is a great way to entice viewers.

A call to action can be anything from a phone call to visiting a website. No matter what your call to action may be, make sure it is clear and simple. Asking your audience to embark on a scavenger hunt will not receive as much engagement as clicking a link.

Dynamic elements

Mix In Some Motion

Adding some dynamic elements such as videos or animations can draw viewers in even more so than static images. However, you must be careful in how you employ these elements. If an animation makes your message messy, it is best to instead use a static image. Too many moving parts will also overwhelm your audience and thus make signage more confusing. When you are using video, having one section assigned to it or even dedicating an entire display to animations/videos will keep your messaging focused.

When using animation, it is best to use designs that are simple and easily identifiable. Sometimes even a silhouette is enough, so long as it is clear what is being portrayed. The most important part of using animation is to not make it harder to see your most important information. Dates and time, weather, and company logos should have their animations kept to a minimum, if at all.

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The last tip to keep in mind when designing your content is to have fun with it! Viewers constantly want fresh content, so do not be afraid to try new things! As you become more comfortable with digital software, you can begin experimenting with more advanced techniques and strategies. At REACH, we are constantly evaluating the digital signage landscape to see what the latest trends are.

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