On July 29, 2020, we continued our Neuger CO.LAB session schedule with about 20 participants, this time presenting the topic of maximizing the impact of design projects.
Session Seven Hosts
Elin Odegaard, Design Specialist
Jim Julian, Senior Graphics Specialist
Key Discussion Points
- Apply a hierarchical approach to design endeavors. According to Elin, “if everything is bold, then nothing is bold.”
- After identifying a goal, use design tools such as scale, contrast and color to create a visual focal point. Then cascade other aspects down from there to communicate your message.
- Visual hierarchy allows you to organize your information in the way you want to communicate it, and to create visual balance within your piece. It’s all about highlighting what information is most important in your message in the most effective way possible.
- Since attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, keep your design simple. Be vigilant about what could distract your audience; anything that could shift your audience’s focus from the main message does not belong in the design.
- Physical space can be limited, so it is crucial to be mindful of spacing and to ensure your piece is not cluttered. The audience won’t care what you are trying to say if they see a design that isn’t organized and communicating a clear message.
- Always have your content accessible to people with disabilities. With video in particular, for example, captions must accompany all audio.
- A/B testing is an effective way to identify what your audiences tend to like or respond to. If applicable, consider conducting some form of customer research before launching your campaign.
- Although digital design and messaging is very common today, print is still highly relevant. Print plays an integral role in engaging audiences because interacting with a physical object has a strong ability to connect on a human level and in a different way than digital channels.
Q: How does design strategy translate into video or virtual events?
Video projects can often benefit from capturing the evocative emotions of an event. Ways to leverage the emotion of your video include music, pacing, framing, variety in camera positioning, coloring, etc. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to do going in. For virtual events in particular, do you want to introduce the event as an entirely new platform, or do you want to replicate how the event would look if you were to have it in person? Is it a single event, or are you moving to a virtual event series? No one wants to read too much or listen to a speaker for too long, so it’s smart to break up videos with headers and occasional text and audio.
Q: If I’m interested in rebranding, what are some things to know?
Rebranding is a full analysis and potential renovation of your core identity and visual style. As part of the process, it’s recommended to create a branding guide, which will serve as the foundation of future design and communications. The guide should include your logo, color palette, fonts, and key messaging.
Q: How do we stay ahead of the curve with designing pieces and products in such a rapidly changing climate?
Given the amount of misinformation we face, one of the most significant aspects of the future is maintaining credibility. Represent yourself consistently and stay true to your core messaging. We are starting to see some companies attempt to impersonate others or to capitalize on other companies’ successes, which can confuse and mislead audiences, so it’s important to build a unique identity. Another likely trend is that animation and motion design will continue to be strong attractions for audiences. It’s good to stay on top of trends, but know that adopting every trend may not be right for your business, and watch out for oversaturation of the market. A/B testing on static vs. video ads is a useful practice for focusing on target audiences. Microinteractions may also become more and more popular because audiences respond very positively to interactive designs.
It has been said that, in this digital age, a goldfish has a longer attention span than humans do, so it is critical to be as efficient and concise as possible with your messages…oooh, something shiny!!