Why Graphic Design is Necessary

In today’s booming world of advertising that bombards us from every angle in every aspect of our lives, it is as important as ever to stand out from the crowd. You’ll want to make sure your messaging is on point, your voice is heard, your audience is targeted, and your brand identity is accurately embodied. While messaging is key in this scenario, how the messaging is visually represented can be just as crucial.

Powerful and evocative in and of itself, graphic design can do significantly more than simply enhancing the meaning of the written word. While sometimes it employs a high degree of hierarchy to highlight key phrases and levels of importance, it can also showcase a brand’s personality with logos, color schemes, and typography. When I try to envision a world without graphic design, I find it impossible. Where would New York City be without Milton Glaser’s iconic I ❤ NY? Or more importantly, where would New York City be without Massimo Vignelli’s subway map? Glaser gave the city a simple yet magnanimous brand while Vignelli enhanced the experience of the commuter, the tourist, and the local by giving them an entirely functional and easily comprehensible visual guide to transportation and exploration.

Many people believe that graphic designers merely “make things pretty.” This is a highly simplified analysis. In reality, the most important task of a graphic designer is to make information both graceful and digestible. It needs to be legible, it needs to be concise, and it needs to be understood by a fairly broad demographic. The following example is a bit odd, but bear with me. One of the reasons the Nazi Party was so successful in such a short period of time and across so many different territories was because they knew how to speak to a largely illiterate population with incredibly powerful imagery. They knew how to appeal to emotion to defy logic, they knew how to utilize a scapegoat strategy, and they knew how to visually represent these concepts.

This approach applies to any political campaign throughout history. Inspect any successful campaign, and you will find powerful imagery coupled with strong supportive typography: Uncle Sam Wants You, Rosie the Riveter, the Obama Hope poster, the list goes on and on. These iconic images have helped shape our country and have motivated people to make, at times, life-altering decisions. The same holds true for advertising. When executed correctly, ad campaigns can have just as profound an effect on a population. Anti-smoking, environmental, physical fitness, and guerilla marketing techniques have all had great success in spreading awareness. In many cases, the branding and imagery give the message the powerful voice that it needs.

A graphic designer is many things. They know how to organize data, how to prioritize information, they know about structure, composition, color theory, and symbolism. They know how wide a column should be before the human brain loses interest in what it’s reading. They know how to design for print, web, and social media. They know how colors and shapes behave with one another and they know just how important the right font choice can be.

Above all a graphic designer is a communicator. They know how to speak to people. In this day and age, when thousands upon thousands of voices are all clamoring to be heard, the right presentation is fundamentally necessary. Give us your message, your mission, your core ideals, and we will craft your brand and strengthen your voice. Trust me. I’m a graphic designer.


About R&J SC

R&J Strategic Communications is a full service integrated marketing and public relations agency that helps businesses discover, define and articulate their value to a target audience. We provide services to both consumer and business-to-business focused firms in the New Jersey metro area and beyond.

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