The Strategic Graphic Designer

An ever-increasing array of tactical communication approaches adds to the pressure to communicate faster, cheaper and with greater reach than ever before. To create economic efficiencies by assuring a clear and consistent approach to content development and messaging — an experienced strategic graphic designer is a great solution. While the term strategic graphic designer is loosely tossed around, it means different things to different people, and it crosses many areas of knowledge, experience, and expertise

Many times, a brand manager within a company will assume the role of strategist. They generally have a business degree, a good idea of how the business makes money, and what its brand personality might want to be. However, many brand managers have never developed creative from the ground up because they do not come from an experienced creative perspective.

Often, an art director from an advertising agency will be responsible for a company’s brand identity. But, art directors don’t think like graphic designers. Their job description doesn’t include developing a communication infrastructure. Nor are they generally interested in doing so. Their interest and advancement lies in developing bold, daring, and awards winning work. While the work may be stunning, it may be a less appropriate, inventive, and subtle reflection of the brand.

The strategic graphic designer seeks to really understand the implications of the core strengths of the brand and thus the positive key differentiators — key truths that research shows resonate with the customer. After all, that is what will inform creative development.

Some call this skill or innate process Design Think. As designer, that is how you are wired and trained to think – to understand the brand and reflect it in all the core communications. Done effectively, it paves the way for great creative ideas and execution. This is a thoughtful, reflective process. Do it right and extend it across all media in a unique, consistent fashion. It just makes good business sense to do so. Start with a solid foundation based on core beliefs within the company. Only then are you able to reflect and communicate values, beliefs and smart business acumen outside the company.

A strategic graphic designer has a difficult time making stuff up. Words like “refresh the brand” and “we’ll know it when we see it”, feel more like a style than a solution. Design should absolutely be fun and artful. But, without discipline of process, fun and artful can run counter to the basic intent of the strategic graphic designer. Make no mistake, brand identity is a discipline.

Using analytics to drive design and brand decisions is integral to the nature of a strategic designer. Being trained to look at design as a function of a business strategy conditions the strategic graphic designer to think efficiently, seamlessly, consistently, uniquely and yes, even artfully. Ultimately, that is what should drive any creative development.

One Response to “The Strategic Graphic Designer”

  1. Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

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