Last time, we focused on some graphic design and motion graphics trends for 2021. But in this blog, we want to look closer at the static side of design: what is graphic design? How’s it used? Why do all brands need it? And most importantly, how can you leverage it to make your creative content stickier than ever before?
First up, an explanation.
We’ve already defined graphic design in simple terms: it’s “the art of combining words and pictures in ads, magazines, websites, and more.” We stand by that definition, too—it’s succinct and to-the-point.
But graphic designers are much more than people who make nice collages. So in the interest of specificity, we want to dig a little deeper into the skills they employ when they design your ads, websites, and other materials.
First, graphic designers are expert photo compositors.
They can manipulate any photograph in virtually any way. Want your product hovering in a galaxy setting? Can do. Need your outdoor candids photoshopped to eliminate ugly billboards? Easy peasy. Care to make your CEO look like he’s walking on the ceiling? Done. Whether you’re after realistic touchups or whimsical art pieces, graphic designers can make ordinary photos look extraordinary.
Second, graphic designers are trained in principles of art.
Far more than simple picture manipulation, graphic design employs principles of color theory, shape, visual texture, contrast, rhythm, and more to make sure that every design is impactful. Graphic designers know these principles inside and out, and they’ve honed their visual analysis so they can turn out striking pieces for any company.
Last, graphic designers are attentive human behavior analysts.
They’ve spent years perfecting their knowledge of user experience design and website design—so when they get a website or application project, they’re ready to design things in a practical way (not just a beautiful way!) They’re skilled at thinking through user pathways, making sure your users spot the right information on your site.
So now that we know a bit more about graphic designers’ skills, let’s look into seven ways they enhance your creative content that you may not have thought of.
They make sure your branding stays consistent across materials
Graphic designers get intimately familiar with your brand—your colors, fonts, and other visual details that make it distinctly you. They can spot the difference between white and slightly-off-white from across a room, so rest assured they’ll be watching your content to make sure everything is perfect.
They can create the perfect ad for every publication
Often, different publications and placement agencies have very specific specs and measurements they need ads to follow. Graphic designers get to know them all, so each time you have them design an ad, they ensure it all measures up.
They bring clarity to the concepting stage
It’s no secret that we love the concepting stage, where we pitch you design and video ideas we think will pique your interest. At this stage, our graphic designers are often at the fore of making what we call “concept frames”—static pictures that illustrate how a video will look. They’re experts at making these concept frames shine, so once you see them presented, you’ll know exactly what you get if you choose that concept.
They can illustrate backgrounds, logos, and textures for your animated content
We’re experts of video, animation included—but what happens when talented animators meet talented graphic designers? Projects like MicroCorp, of course! As our animation lead for the project says, in these videos, our graphic designers used their illustrative skills to create vivid backdrops that our animators could put characters in.
They bring off-the-wall projects to life
If you imagine it, they can make it. Our graphic designers have designed interior design guides, large convention displays, and even a huge vinyl wrap for a nearly three-ton piece of construction equipment. Pitch them your wildest designs, and they can make it happen—and always expect some exciting pitches from their direction, as well!
They can revamp a website without a total overhaul
Remember up above when we said that graphic designers study user experience and get to know human behavior? Just a few simple tweaks to your website’s visual layout can sometimes make all the difference in how site visitors see you. If you get the time to let graphic designers do an audit of your site, they’ll quickly find ways you can refresh your appearance without redoing everything in sight.
They can make your content last longer
"In traditional media, designers need to put together one great layout. In video, we need 24 great layouts every second, so design skills are pretty fundamental to what we do."
Stuart Fleisher, Creative Director
Last but not least, graphic designers can refresh your brand photography by compositing. This means that, with a few additional backgrounds or effects added in, one brand photograph can turn into 10 or 20. Let graphic designers touch up your materials, and they can make good things multiply.
Design in mind
We’re thrilled with the ways our graphic designers enhance and inspire our other creative content, including our most powerful video projects. As our creative director, Stuart Fleisher, says: “If you think about what it takes to put together a great ad or a great piece of print material—all the same principles apply to video. In traditional media, designers need to put together one great layout. In video, we need 24 great layouts every second, so design skills are pretty fundamental to what we do.”
And hopefully, now that you’ve learned a bit more about what graphic designers do, you understand just how fundamental they are.