Four fundamentals of great design work

Alex Haddon | September 2017

To ensure you squeeze every bit of return on investment into your sales and marketing activity, follow these four easy steps to utilise great design for communication success.

1. Originality

Your idea is the foundation of your brand strength. Take time to craft this carefully and let courage and creativity be keywords in your thinking. Collaborating from the earliest possible moment with your creative agency means your idea can translate into a communication strategy that delivers the results you are looking for. You should be able to confront the potential “So what?” attitude with clear messages on why you, and nothing else, will do. Try and think a little differently in the design or the materials that you use. Explore some more unexpected branding opportunities to surprise and delight your audience.

2. Personality

Define your brand tone of voice and know your audience so that they are perfectly aligned. Any sales or marketing is usually an interruption so make it count by being the right combination of relevant, helpful, humorous, respectful and informative. Knowing how your audience thinks is a key asset in defining your brand personality. You can also consider what the journey would be like for people who know nothing about you, through to your closest brand ambassadors – what do they want to hear from you at those quite different stages?

3. Clarity

Don’t get sucked into a vortex of complexity. It can be tempting to become somewhat incomprehensible in your quest for originality. It is critical that you can quickly answer the “What can I buy?” question that anyone may be thinking. And, it helps to get to the point quickly at certain times so be ready with a short and a long version of your brand story so that you have every opportunity covered.

4. Consistency

This is perhaps the most boring part for the client to accept. Once you have established the above and you are busy delivering your messages and engaging with your target audience, it can be tempting to go ‘off piste’ to inject variety in what you are doing. STOP THIS! No one else will interact with your brand anywhere near as much as you do and you simply risk causing confusion by changing things too much. To safeguard this scenario, make sure that your brand assets have plenty of components and possibilities, still within a framework, so that you can sustain interest whilst staying ‘on brand’.

With these four valuable fundamentals, you ensure your brand is strong, relevant and effective. The brand becomes in integral part of your business assets and can communicate effectively both internally and externally.

At IC Design, we don’t apply a ‘one size fits all’ solution but we have found, over the years, that steering these four elements into our projects, delivers the best outcomes for clients. If reading this has raised any questions, I’d be delighted to discuss further so please feel free to email me alex@icdesign.co.uk