There really is no single definition of effective graphic design, but the goal is to merge business and creative objectives in a meaningful way that makes design more than just an aesthetic exercise. When we integrate design processes and design thinking into the larger business goals of our companies or clients, graphic design becomes a strategic tool that businesses can leverage.
While inextricably linked, business and effective graphic design strategies meet different needs. Business strategy includes financial, product and market objectives that are best expressed through brand touchpoints. Effective Design is the roadmap for the visual and media components that help to build and drive these objectives.
Effective Graphic Design could be described the invention of a language that best expresses your client’s business strategy. Design strategy articulates the parameters and potential of a specific challenge that drives a series of solutions or results. It’s simple, compelling and actionable. And, as with any language, evolution and variation are inevitable and should be accommodated. Design strategy is a dimensional, multifaceted plan that allows one to travel down different paths. We want to include flexibility and the option of organic growth into the agenda right from the start.
Our clients’ business strategies also form the framework for our graphic design strategies. While these are interrelated, they are not the same thing. Graphic Design, as a field of theory and practice, refers to the integrated, holistic planning process that examines the interplay between design and the business plan. However, for most graphic designers, design strategy simply refers to the conceptual underpinning for their creative work.
Effective graphic design possesses both imagination and artistic ability.
You aren’t burdened by expectations, nor do you allow preconceived notions of what great art should be to restrict what you can come up with. It’s important to understand that graphic designers like you still understand the principles of art and the elements that define a great work of art. However, you use your fertile imagination to go over and above conventional knowledge to create effective visual representations.
Effective Graphic Design Is Innovative
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
The 7 Principles of Universal Design were developed in 1997 by a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers led by the late Ronald Mace, of North Carolina State University. The purpose of the Principles is to guide the design of environments, products and communications.
According to the Center for Universal Design in NCSU, the Principles “[m]ay be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.”
Principle 1: Equitable Use
Principle 2: Flexibility in Use
Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use
Principle 4: Perceptible Information
Principle 5: Tolerance for Error
Principle 6: Low Physical Effort
Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use
Effective Graphic Design and art are not the same.
You should design for the user, and have a business objective in mind. Using the effective graphic design principles mentioned above, you can produce aesthetically and financially rewarding results.