It needs more cowbell. When you review a proposed design, is your first thought “Make the logo bigger”? Are you looking for more pizzazz? Does the proof feel a bit dull or blah? If you are working on a website, a blog design or even a template for an email newsletter, consider the following when discussing the proof with your graphic designer:
1. Content marketing is the new branding.
Frank Strong of Copyblogger explains, “Branding isn’t your company name. It’s not a tagline. It’s not a logo. Branding is just another name for creating a perception.” [Full Article]
Let your content be the superstar. Anyone can come up with a pretty logo. What sets your company apart is your product, your story… your value proposition. A well-designed project showcases your content rather than your logo.
2. Use real content, not Greek fluff.
Many graphic designers will use Greek text and placeholder images in a proof. You might not respond well to a content-based design if, well, the content is imaginary fluff. Give your designer real content, meaningful photos or content with which you can connect. It is much easier to access a design which reflects you.
3. Digital marketing does not happen in a bubble.
In traditional forms of marketing, like print or billboards, the design piece stands on its own. However, in the digital world, graphic design is a piece of the puzzle. For example, an email newsletter showcases a branded “from” field. A visitor to your site has shown up through a term search on Google, or through a social network, or from an email deployment. Keep this in mind when assessing your design. It allows you to keep it clutter-free.
Solid designers will be able to explain, often with stats, why they have arranged your piece in a specific way. If they can provide you a solid explanation of why something should be showcased in a particular fashion, trust your experts. This is why you are paying them.
If you still feel it needs “more cowbell,” talk with your graphic designer. Go with your gut feeling. Good things happen when great minds work together. Explaining what your goals are vs. saying something like “move the logo over there” gives your designer the opportunity to create a digital masterpiece that meets your needs but still looks great.
PS: For my fellow SNL fans…