It’s a Visual World. Do you need design help?

by Val Jereb, VP / Director of Marketing, Scott Valley Bank

It has become increasingly simple to create and maintain a website and produce your own graphics materials for your business. After all, who knows better than you do what you’d like to communicate?  Sure, you can do all this, but how well will it serve your goals? Does your work carry the impact you intend? Is your branding consistently apparent and consistently applied? Might you be setting yourself up for costly mistakes? And, are you making the best use of your own time and talents?

Would you benefit from employing a graphic artist or advertising agency to support your business?

Quite possibly.  When you meet with a graphic designer, be prepared to share the history of your business, examples of previous branding (print or electronic ads, logos, letterhead, business cards, and signage). You’ll want to discuss the markets you serve as well as your target markets. What are you selling? Is it product or services? Whichever it is, there are features and benefits – have those identified. If your business is a service, the benefit of what you are selling is likely something like convenience or security – or even prestige. What makes your business or product unique? How are you fulfilling your customer’s needs?

Here are just a few things your design professional can help with:

  • Consistent Brand Identity: If your brand identity needs development, that will be the first task. Then, your design professional will see to the consistency of your branding in all its presentations.
  • Web Design: Your design professional can keep your web presence fresh with current content and the latest formatting as standards for web presence are undergoing constant metamorphosis (just think of the changes to the medium on which the end user is viewing your site.)
  • Files Properly Prepared: You’ll benefit from the designer’s knowledge of correct file format, properly prepared and at the correct resolution and correct use of color, for each type of job.
  • Fonts can be fun: Your font sends a message. There are myriad fonts to choose from for a ‘signature look’. Your design professional will take care to not associate your ‘signature look’ with a trendy font that will quickly become dated or tiresome and can assist you in determining if your signature font will be as pretty when displayed large (as in your signage) as small (as on your business card.) When you select a font for web use, your graphic designer can advise you as to what fonts work well in that medium while complimenting your signature look. (Keep readability in mind and remember that simplicity is often welcome in the highly cluttered online environment.)

TARGET: Present simple and direct visual communication delivered with clarity and navigated with ease.
Your design professional knows the importance of visual impact. Attention will be paid to typography, letter and line spacing and line endings.

TARGET:  Good Layout. Your printed and online work should have an artistically pleasing visual presence that stands on its own.
Your end user (client/prospect) needs to find information easily and in a visually appealing medium. Effective use of design elements including color and images can increase the emotional appeal of your image and that can lead to support of your business goals. 

TARGET: Capture attention.
Since effective time management is a theme of this issue, consider whether you really have the time to create and or manage your own media. Sure, you think rendering your own design work will be fun. It may be! Remember though that your effective graphic designer will involve you sufficiently in the process to allow your creative juices to flow and for you to feel ownership. As an added benefit, you’ll likely benefit from avoiding unforeseen cost of the errors you could so easily make on your own.

TARGET: Capture more time for yourself to devote to your real talents.
Your goal is to effectively communicate what your business offers to your client in an inviting, succinct, and positive way. Consistent application of timeless design sends overt as well as subliminal messages of quality. Remember, perception is reality.

View Scott Valley Bank - The Vault - April 2013