The Importance of Great Graphic Design

By: Louis Rebecchi

The amount of visual content in our daily lives is growing year by year. Digital advertisements, video, print, the rise of infographics, all amplified through the need to communicate quickly (and sometimes silently) on social media platforms.

As direct marketers, clear and simple communication is often the difference between effective response and lack thereof. And while there are many contributing aspects to the art, great graphic design is often at the cornerstone of successful direct response campaigns.

Great graphic design is not always easy to identify. That’s because great graphic design is often designed to go unnoticed. It doesn’t distract. It bolsters the information it’s trying to communicate. It feels natural. It works so your brain doesn’t need to (much). Nobody thinks about the design of a stop sign… or a “don’t walk” sign… or a newspaper layout. They’re just there in their ubiquity, communicating perfectly through great design.

Layout is often the first aspect addressed in design. The canvas, the elements and the spatial relationship between them. Grouping elements, giving each space to breath, and arranging them in a pleasing way. Cluttered design strains the eyes and brain. Keeping the layout clean and allowing elements their proper space goes a long way in communicating effectively.

Typography can say a lot about your message. More than the words alone. Choosing the right fonts, and making sure they are complementary, is an important aspect of graphic design, that can suggest tone and create the proper feel for your message.

Using colors and contrast goes a lot further than generating eye-catching imagery- sometimes it’s the subtle use of these elements that delivers the message clearly. Not distracting from but complementing the important elements of your message.

What these elements of great graphic design come down to is simple legibility. The ability to communicate in a way that is easy on the eye and easily understood. Whether it’s text, an image, or (more likely) a combination of both. Great graphic design in direct marketing often comes down to simple legibility- design that is synergistic with and supports clear delivery of the message

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