How to make design work.
As a marketer or decision maker, there are three critical components you need to make great design work for you. When reviewing your next project, remember these points and take them into account.
1. Collaboration: A great designer can't take your ideas and "run with it." You need to properly communicate with the designer and come to an agreement on what needs to be done, listen to them as well. If you don't communicate with your designer / design department this project won't work. Guaranteed.
2. Cognition: Is the brain going to visually understand this piece? Design can look cool and completely lose your audience. The design must use the correct visuals and must be easy for the brain to comprehend. The visuals and text can't be distracting, they must accomplish a purpose. Is there pointless clutter on the page that doesn't need to be there?
3. Congruence: Our brains have been trained to dump inconsistencies. Your design must be innovative and creative but at the same time must agree with the message. The copy on the page and the visuals used to communicate that message must agree with each-other. If your target market is confused you are in trouble. Do you have metallics and crazy colors with a black background on your day care website? If so, the prospective parents are picturing a Heavy Metal, Harley ridin' care giver.
Put your current pieces through the steps. Are your collateral pieces visually confusing? Are there red-flags popping up in your head reading this? How much farther could your marketing dollars be stretched by making your designs work?