Graphic design is one of those terms that everyone thinks they know what it means, but they get stumped if you ask them to actually define it. So, we’re going to do something out of character for us and head on over to dictionary.com for the official definition. Graphic design is:
“The art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect.”
That’s not a bad start to defining and understanding the complexities of graphic design as it applies to businesses, organizations, and associations.
At Allen Wayne, we believe design is way beyond cool colors and shapes. Our process combines the design elements that are important to you with our creative direction to amalgamate who you are and what your customers visually respond to. Our goal, every single time, is to craft a visual theme that tells your entire story—who you are, what you do, and why you rock—without any words necessary.
Since we’re talking about the visual representations of companies, organizations, and associations let’s take a look at an example to give you some graphic design ideas of your own.
Inspire Exploration and Wonderment
One of the graphic designs that we created for National Park Service started out with the simplest of intents: Celebrate the beauty and awe of America's natural resources. Inspire a sense of exploration and wonderment. Encourage our youth to have adventures in our natural landscape.
This project required us to create this feeling without any words.
We knew that we would rely on epic natural landscape photos to aid in creating this feeling, but there would be a graphic framework required to enhance and structure that message.
The specific pieces that needed to be created were official passes that were plastic and credit card sized that park visitors would purchase and use throughout the season as well as a retail pack, a program brochure, and other collateral.
Our approach to the graphic design elements was not to think of the pass as an inanimate object that was essentially a fancy receipt. Instead, it was the key to our country's most valuable natural environments. It opened the door to landscapes and wildlife not experienced in our day-to-day lives. For children it could signify the possibility of a trip into imagination, and the opportunity for education.
It's no surprise then that the Allen Wayne designs incorporate portals that you visually pass through to experience the photos; that the primary icon directly evokes exploration. Its function is much more than a clever way to hide the security hologram.
Much of the marketing photography utilizes photos that accentuate the landscape and seemingly have natural portals into the unknown beyond the horizon. The pass itself features a photo selected from a winner of the annual photo competition.
Graphic Design Best Practices
There are plenty of companies out there that will talk about the principles of graphic design. We know them, we appreciate them, and we use them selectively for each client.
If you’re looking to have a meaningful discussion about how your brand can be better represented across materials and time, and you want to participate in the process while having someone else do the heavy lifting, here are a few things you should think through:
What is it about your brand that inspires you and others?
What is the mood or emotion that you want to create?
On which medium(s) will your graphic design be displayed?
Our award-winning designers have a long track record of taking your vision and creating unique and unforgettable graphic designs. This is because we build upon the core branding strategy that we work carefully with you to construct.
Graphic design isn’t about creating a moment. It’s about creating a lasting impression that will drive the specific action needed to grow your brand, expand your business, and accomplish your mission.
If you would like to see some of our recent graphic design projects, you can view the full Allen Wayne portfolio here.
We’re Allen Wayne—a full-service creative agency with a diverse, talented team that works strategically and collaboratively with our clients to create phenomenal brands. We crave challenges. We solve problems. We develop solutions. Allen Wayne goes Beyond Design to craft an identity and personality for your entire operation. Contact us today and unleash our creativity on your business and brand.