Information saturation via innumerable media outlets is now a serious and troubling challenge confronting the delivery of considered and consistent communication standards for content and design. With the arrival of new digital forms of instant and interactive distribution, structured design is all too often reduced to a minor role – pushed conveniently into the background behind the need to rapidly get the message out, or compromised by the flashy and flawed ‘more is better’ approach of multimedia content.
Graphic design has become something of a forgotten skill as the ubiquitous capability to self-produce digital documents – at any standard – now overshadows the required consideration regarding the importance of fundamental design principles and professionally devised communication output. Within the turbulent seas of personal opinion and untrained judgment, solid design structure can introduce calm consistency and provide targeted, productive content. Inconsistent messages are regularly delivered to consumers, breaking the positive communication flow and hindering understanding due to illogical hierarchies or a cluttered focus. These problems unfortunately appear insurmountable at times, as the breadth of media touch points dilute our ability to directly control all elements within manageable systems and desired time frames for quality content generation.
So, why does design matter?
Brand equity and enduring appeal require significant planning, monitoring and considerable effort to build the desired identity – or attempt to. Without awareness and strategic planning, simply making noise will not achieve results, and planning is the cornerstone of successful design and communication. Design, beyond simple construction, offers an identity or planned style system, built upon a flexible understanding of needs and requirements and devised conscientiously to provide functional solutions across many potential applications. This is essential for the dissemination and representation of any message and includes all forms of print promotion, online spaces, interactive tools and traditional advertising or broadcasting. All parts of the complex identity puzzle matter equally and design is the foundation that successfully underpins a sprawling brand construction. An ill-considered misstep or corner-cutting oversight can erase years of perception building and dilute even the strongest of brands.
We may now have many more distribution flavours to choose from, but sound design decisions are still required to effectively express the intended message with substance and integrity. Design principles needs to breach the borders surrounding deficient new media experiences, adding value through the proliferation of professional standards and conceptual intelligence. For communication success to be achieved a clear voice needs to be heard and it must speak with respectful clarity, strategic direction and demonstrated forethought.