It’s a common question that I often hear from people. It’s something that I’ve seen people struggle to answer so I’m dedicating to give my own answer. First, it’s important to talk about what is graphic design. As a professor of mine put it, “graphic design is A + B = C.” In layman’s terms, it’s a visualized image meant to convey a message.
So why is it important?
You’re on social media and scrolling through your feed to pass the time. You come across a funny gif that got you chuckling and send it to the cute girl in HR. Hours later, you’re commuting back home and you’re on YouTube and in-between binge-watching episodes of your favorite show and come across a Macedonian travel ad that you didn’t skip for some unknown reason.
Why am I talking about this? The point I’m making is that we like looking at beautiful things whether it’s an ad regaling me on the beauty of Lake Ohrid or thick thighs. It’s something that is proven that people love beautiful things. The prettier something is, the more easily the bridge between the people communicating and those being communicated to can be built. The more beautiful something is, it’ll actively grab the attention of others and spread messages quickly.
We live in a visually-driven culture where people would watch a twenty-minute YouTube documentary on the diplomatic genius of King Philip of Macedon instead of reading the Wikipedia article in two minutes.
A good graphic designer can take a mantra or vision that drives a brand or person and translate that into meaningful, unique aesthetics that appeal to the eye. Effective graphic design clarifies meaning and eases communication from person to person. A strong visual aesthetic can ease visual navigation when we are absorbing information, such in the case of navigating for the perfect series to binge-watch on Netflix during lockdown.
A good designer will select the right font, colors, shapes and layouts to be able to express what a brand stands for. A graphic designer is not like a traditional artist in that they can waste anyone’s times with multiple palettes and ambiguous meanings. People’s attention span have no time for that.
To communicate anything from ad campaign to presentations, you need powerful, simple visuals. Otherwise you risk your message being unheard.