Graphic design is an evolving process, a never-ending road of creativity, surprises and magic. But many want to rush ahead and get creative with planning, colour schemes and cool typography before they actually know two essential things – who you are designing for and who you are actually marketing to.
There are essentially two different audiences that graphic designers need to understand before they can go to the design room. This blog will help you understand your target audience and how it will affect your overall design.
Primary and Secondary Audiences
1. Know Who You’re Designing For – as a graphic designer you will have to work with a variety of different companies and personalities. You need to understand each one intimately and how they perceive their own brand. Your images have to do their vision justice as well as your own.
Brand style guides need to be taken into account and you need to know your design boundaries as per the brand before getting started.
2. Know Who You’re Marketing To – who you’re marketing to will be decided by who you’re designing for. Confused?
All you need to understand is that your employer has a market they are trying to sell to. Within that market will be a mixture of personas that you need to capture and relate to via your design. Thus understanding who a brand is marketing to will ensure you understand what type of audience you are designing for.
Find a Balance
Now to need to consider that balance between letting your own creative flair stand out within your design (because you are still a graphic designer and creativity is built in your DNA) still appeasing the company you are designing for. You can find that balance by getting to know your audience a little better.
We suggest creating what is known as a ‘persona’. This is where you literally create a character that you are targeting with the available information you have about your target audience. Give the target a name, write a bit about them, what they like and don’t like, their income, where they live, what their user behaviour entails and even what they look like. This will help you narrow down exactly what and whom you are designing for.
Only once you start to understand the brand behind your design and their target audiences will you be able to establish a style that appeals to both of them, enabling you to remain relative and ahead of the competition.
Design Considerations For Your Audience
The style of the design will vary and depends on the brand’s style guide. Different brands will have different boundaries but here are some very basic tips to get your started.
We all know colour can be an invaluable key to any great design. Colour has the power to alter moods, generate emotion and act almost an innuendo, conveying a range of information without actually saying anything. Some colours may be better suited to your audience and product than others.
When choosing colour to suit your audience you want it to be harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Colour should be engaging but not so chaotic that your audience gets distracted and your overall message is lost.
Maybe you don’t need glasses to read your font but does your audience? Size, style and spacing of your text all need to be considered when designing for a particular audience. Too small and the message will be missed – too intricate and detailed then even the simplest information can be lost.
When considering who will be reading your design or who you want reading your design, you should be deliberate in your typefaces. Keep typefaces to a maximum of three and keep your sizing relative.
A great image can be an iconic representation of your brand. It can showcase style, power, confidence and tone in order to become that memorable brand image you have been wanting to create. The saying ‘an image tells a thousand words’ might be true for your design but there are obvious factors to consider when including an image within your design, i.e. design’s intended use, copyright and cost to reproduce the image to name a few.
The layout of your design is one of those all-important bits you might have forgotten when considering your audience. It’s all about positioning and striking that balance to make your work pop! Don’t overcrowd a page with too much information or design and see how you can use negative space to work to your advantage.
The layout will affect how the message is communicated and received so do some test runs with printing sizes, size types for different devices and screen sizes. Your own eyes should be a good indication of whether or not your design layout is readable or overcrowded, however a second opinion never hurts.
Consider your primary and secondary audiences before starting any design and you will be more likely to design something that will reach the right person with the right traction you’ve been looking for.