We take it for granted, but seeing really is believing.
Around 80% of our sensory impressions are registered through our eyes.
Some 50% of our brains are dedicated to making sense of what our eyes are telling us. They can take in 10 million pieces of information per second.
Visual communication is therefore an integral aspect of brand development and management.
That’s particularly important when it comes to graphic design because a visually-appealing design will encourage more people to engage with you.
There’s science behind this because, certainly in most Western countries, we read from left to right.
Our brains are hot-wired to do this, and graphic design studies prove that our eyes start at the top left corner and end at the bottom right corner. You, therefore, have to ensure that the top left corner of whatever you’re designing entices the reader in, while the bottom right corner should leave them with a clear message.
But make your design dull or confusing, from printed articles and websites to social media, signage, advertising and packaging, and people will turn away.
Also, another no-no is to put too much information into your design. Empty space can be visually appealing because it draws the reader’s eye to what is actually there – the core messages you want to convey.
That brings into play the visual hierarchy of what you’re trying to say, using different colours and font sizes to draw the reader’s eye to what’s important. Without a clear visual hierarchy, your design will simply be confusing. The lesson is: simplify whenever possible.
Most Importantly, every company or organisation is a brand, with clear guidelines on how that brand should be projected. Good brands have written documentation on how their corporate logos can be used. So don’t be tempted to tinker with that brand’s core visual attributes. Think Amazon’s smiley logo or the Nike swoosh.
As an example, some years ago, a friend of mine was working for a major US cigarette brand that used a white and red triangle to make it instantly recognisable. (You can guess which company!)
They were sponsoring a boat race on the Thames, and Crown came into the name of the race. My friend niftily added a crown to the top of the brand’s white crown.
A senior executive from the cigarette company flew across the Atlantic to personally give my friend a dressing down. The lesson for graphic designers? Don’t mess with a brand’s visual identity – and always, always ensure consistency across all materials.
Many people consider graphic design as a career because they’re creative people who know how to draw. But graphic design is a skill that has to be learned. It’s about the psychology of communication, and then understanding how to communicate key messages.
The importance of understanding how different colours can generate a variety of emotions, and how those colours can create visual harmony or a sense of chaos. This all depends on the brand and its brand values. Colours should work in harmony.
Textures & Shapes
It’s about understanding texture and shape – whether, for example, incorporating geometric shapes, natural shapes such as people or places, or abstract shapes – and how the overall design fits together harmoniously. Knowing when to incorporate white space, without words or design, to better highlight key points.
The psychology of graphic design goes further. Serif fonts are good for websites but can be difficult to read on some browsers. You, therefore, have to think carefully about making your words potent and easy to read. For example, if your target market is a more mature demographic, consider using sans-serif with a larger font size. Simply, it makes it easier to read. But never ever use a whole mishmash of fonts.
It all adds up to a set of skills that have to be learned because graphic design involves a whole lot of skills that are not intuitive.
That’s why our courses are so relevant because we are experts at teaching what’s important – and giving you the skills and confidence to start or progress your career.
Not only that, but we work around you because we understand the other pressures you might be under. At the end of it, we also give you a real and accredited qualification. You may be tempted onto other online courses because they’re cheap, but cheap is rarely good and, do remember, that we offer a real qualification.
The school’s ethos is to provide one-to-one tuition that fits in with you and which works at your pace. Our mission is to help you succeed at graphic design and be the very best that you can be.
The courses, therefore, offer the same quality as a brick-and-mortar college, with face-to-face tuition, and the same qualification at the end of it.
If you’re serious about a career in graphic design do speak to us.
Check out our Visual Communication Level 4 Diploma Course and see for yourself why it is one of our most popular courses.
COMPLETE COURSES LIST 2024 - 2025
SPECIALIST DESIGN COURSES
Advertising Design Level 4
Brand & Corporate ID Design Level 4
Packaging Design Level 4
Visual Communication Level 4
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Creative Thinking & Process Techniques PL5
Creative Team Building PL5
SHORT COURSES + WORKSHOPS
Introduction to Graphic Design Short Course
Logo Design Short Course
Creative Thinking Short Course
Become a Freelancer Short Course
Digital Illustration for Beginners Short Course