It's part of the journey of maturing as a Graphic designer
Designers need to understand that Graphic Design and Brand Strategy should be part of the same conversation. The strategy of a brand, informed by research and insight, needs to be upheld throughout the design process. Graphic designers are ultimately responsible for this.
As designers, our training and education at college or university typically focuses on the craft of design and fine-tuning our core design abilities. We are expected to be great at designing logos, websites, digital content, and print materials. So, understandably, we focus our energy on enhancing our "job-ready" skills in this area.
But there is a part of Graphic Design that often gets forgotten about or even worse, denied - Branding. Many designers will say they don't need to understand brand strategy as part of their job or that they aren't trained in branding. However, most designers who have been in the industry for several years naturally evolve to be well-versed in it. In time, they mature to understand the role, leverage, and importance of strategy within their design process - and importantly - their career.
Designers need to understand that Brand Strategy and Graphic Design should be part of the same conversation. The strategy of a brand, informed by research and insight, needs to be upheld throughout the design process. Graphic designers are ultimately responsible for this.
Increase their value to both the client and the agency
As Graphic Designers, we are often mistaken to be just responsible for the visual piece itself. However, our role in the agency is much bigger than that. We need to understand how our output fits into building both client business and brands.
Graphic Designers who understand brand strategy have a much greater role to play within decision-making around design. They have a better idea of how their audience, platforms, customer personas relate to the bigger picture. Graphic Designers who understand brand strategy can express brand attributes and priorities with confidence and clarity leading to successful outcomes for both client and agency. This ultimately is of greater value to both the client and the agency.
Your mind is already geared for strategy, you just don't know it
As Graphic designers, we use design to help convey a client's message. We understand what works and what doesn't in terms of how a message is conveyed. What many Graphic Designers don't realize is that the process of design thinking is itself strategic. The transition to brand strategy isn't difficult, it is just a deeper understanding of the 'why' behind the design.
By understanding how to think strategically, Graphic Designers can take their designs to the next level and help create brands that are successful. By using design thinking, we can create strategies that work with a client's message instead of against it. We can also help to create a brand that is unique and represents the client in the best way possible.
Brand strategy will guide your design to more success
As Graphic Designers, it's often the specific parameters and restrictions of a client brief that challenge us and push us to create our best work. By understanding brand strategy, we can make better decisions in the design process. Graphic Designers who understand brand strategy are considered of how their designs will be used in different contexts and applications, rather than just focussing on the aesthetics. Understanding brand strategy helps us create designs that are more successful overall.
Brand position, persona and promise gives your design a competitive advantage
Most Graphic Designers don't realize that their goal is to offer their clients a commercial edge. By understanding brand strategy, you give your designs a competitive advantage.
Thinking about the design in terms of its customer journey
Graphic design is an important part of developing a successful brand. Graphic designers need to understand the customer journey and how they can influence customers at different points in it. The role of design is to connect with and influence customers on their journey, which starts when they realize that you exist. This process continues until they interact and purchase your product. Design intersects with the customer journey at different points, so it’s important to create effective design for each stage.