Imagine you’re driving down a country lane and you see a handwritten, wooden sign that reads: Fresh farm eggs for sale, 50 yds. The sign appears quite crudely fashioned, but it is absolutely appropriate. It feels natural, wholesome and right for the task. However, what if you were visiting a new dentist for the first time and when you got to the address a similarly crude, handwritten sign read Dentist, Please Enter? Would this inspire confidence in you?

Appropriateness is absolutely essential to successful design.

Who Are You and What is Your Objective?
To have successful visual communications you need to know what you want to get out of them. This means first understanding what your brand identity is. Your identity should reflect your brand values, and how your communications are shaped should naturally arise from this knowledge and understanding.

Secondly, you need to be clear about what your piece of communication is for. What is its purpose?

Here’s something to think about: your logo is itself a piece of communication, a marketing tool. So, your logo should be appropriate to your brand values and identity.

We may only perceive logos as finished items, when they are already widely seen as representative of the brand they represent. But in order to be this successful they have to have been designed to be absolutely on message and appropriate for what, or whom, they are representing.

The Correct Tone
Design has a tone, just as written and verbal communication does. The design has to fit the purpose and resonate with your target audience, by speaking in the correct visual language.

For example, if you were selling financial services, your communications might want to make you sound approachable but also authoritative and trustworthy. Alternatively, if you were marketing family-friendly adventure holidays you’d want to stress the sense of excitement and inclusivity and build up feelings of anticipation in your audience.

Everything about your communications has to fit: from the branding to the colour palette and font; and of course, the content itself.

Design is not just a matter of taste. Used correctly, it is an enormously potent communications tool, connecting you to your customers in powerful ways. It can determine how you speak to them and how they perceive you and your brand. This is why the tone of voice in design is so crucial, and why getting it right should always be a priority.

At Reform Creative we work across a range of sectors, and the communications we ensure that what we design for our clients is appropriate to the audiences they want to reach. We take a holistic, strategic approach to design, ensuring that it is wholly correct for its purpose. We apply these values regardless of the size or complexity of each brief, large or small.

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