In today’s highly digital world, people are swarmed with countless communication messages every day through the Internet, social media, and advertisements in their physical environment. This means that while we have access to multiple platforms to reach out to audiences, it is easy for our message to get lost in the ocean of other content they have to scroll through.
Visual communication, which relies on images and design, has become more important than ever before in reaching audiences effectively. A good visual design has an impactful first impression that earns a longer view time, and creates a more lasting memory of the communicated message. The Change Agency puts in much thought and effort in all our designs. Here are 5 tips and tools you can use to strengthen your message visually.
(All artworks featured in this article are by students of Mr Kenji Choo, Academic Director at the M.A.D. School, where the Change Agency was born. Read more about that here!)
1. An Entry Point
When too much is going on within an artwork, the different elements can compete with each other for attention. This leaves the viewer confused, and increases the likelihood of your message going over their heads. During the designing process, try to be mindful of where the entry point should be, and create a clear hierarchy or flow from one element to the next, allowing the viewer’s eyes to travel in a comfortable and intended way to understand your message.
2. A Fresh Spin on the Familiar
When viewers look at an artwork for the first time, they do not perceive all the elements clearly at once. What we see from vague shapes and colours is influenced by our past experiences of what we have already seen or are familiar with. By creating an image that seems like one thing but is actually another, it creates an element of surprise and imprints the image deeper into your viewer’s mind.
In the midst of things that look similar, having an element that is starkly different draws great attention to it. Use this to your advantage if there is one clear message you wish to emphasise on.
4. Line Them Up
When we get down to the essentials, designs and visuals are made of pixels, and pixels come together to form lines. The length, thickness, and direction of lines can go a long way in creating an emotional impact. For example, vertical lines can create a sense of height or size, while horizontal lines can create a more balanced and peaceful atmosphere. Think about how you can arrange your elements in different formations to change the emotional impact of the artwork.
5. Sometimes, Less is More!
Do not neglect the impact of breathing or white space. When creating our designs, it can be tempting to add more and more elements to an artwork. Yet, too many elements can distract a viewer from what is truly important. Sometimes, space itself can be a powerful communication tool to convey scale, isolation, or emphasis.
Ultimately, as Mr Kenji says, “Form without function is just a pretty sheet of paper”. Design is an intimately intentional process - every element should be there for a reason. We hope this list of tips has been helpful to your creative process.
If you are looking for creative services that can help enhance your campaign or deliver your messages impactfully, the Change Agency offers a range of design and marketing services to support our clients in their projects and events. Drop Karen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore opportunities, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!