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5 Things to Keep in Mind When Graphic Designing for Digital

Justin Smorawske

The world of graphic design is equal parts science and creativity. Regardless of what industry your company is in, it's important to note that the design associated with your brand and your brand's campaigns can make or break the success you experience as an agency. Simply put, the effort you put into your brand should meet or exceed the success you see as a result of your efforts. 

Read on to see what elements you may be missing in your company's digital efforts.

Specific Sizes & Specs

Every digital platform—ranging from social media channels, such as Snapchat or Facebook, to search sites, such as Google and Bing—has a set of unique parameters for images that should be used on that specific platform. Whether the content you're designing is paid or organic, there's a specific set of specifications for the dimensions of your design piece that you should be following. As if that's not enough to keep things interesting, most sites also place limits on the file size of your images. Keeping all of these different rules straight can be tiresome, so brush up on the ideal file specs and sizes for some of the most popular digital platforms in the links below:

20% Text

As digital advertising has advanced, as have the rules governing what graphics are allowed on each platform. Perhaps one of the strictest rules governing the digital space, the "text in graphics rule," has become a major sticking point for digital marketers. Generally speaking, the more text you have in the graphic or ad, the less likely it is that your advertising graphic will be approved, particularly when it comes to Facebook and Instagram. With this in mind, it's important to simplify your digital messages so they properly convey your message, without overwhelming the reader with a wave of text. Even consider adopting this "20 percent" rule when developing organic posts, in the event that you choose to boost them later. This will eliminate the need to redesign graphics after the fact to meet this standard.

Maximize Memories

When it comes to digital ads, you have approximately three seconds to make an impact on the viewer. Anything more than that, and you're living on borrowed time. Knowing this, it's vital that you make the biggest impact you can muster in the smallest amount of time. That is part of the reason why it is so immensely important to create graphic designs that are visually stimulating and interesting to more than just the target audience. If you can pique people's interests, then you can hold their attention for long enough to inform them about your brand and deliver a deeply impactful brand message.

Keep it Consistent

In the world of digital marketing, keeping a consistent brand image is vital to the success of your company. If you're unsure about the strength of your brand's digital presence, try looking at a few of your ad pieces and imagining them without the logo. Can you still clearly determine which company the ad came from, despite the lack of branding insignia on the advertisement? If not, that's a sign that your company's brand could use a boost in regards to your digital image. Work toward establishing a clear color palette that is unique in your market. Incorporate these colors into every advertisement and communication that you send out. Partially because of their strong branding, McDonalds was able to famously advertise without their logo in France. Every company should set the goal of being recognized without leaning heavily on their logos in their marketing efforts.

Tackle Trends

Perhaps one of the most important elements of staying relevant in the digital sphere is keeping up with what's trending on the world wide web. These days, everybody who's anybody has their own logo, website and digital side-hustle. While drowning in what is considered by many to be an endless sea of logos and taglines, it's important to keep your thumb on the pulse of the industry, so you don't fall behind. One day, the industry may be trending toward flat, simplistic logos but, within a few months, consumer preferences can vary drastically, demanding a slight tweak to your branding efforts. Far too often, companies maintain the same logo and branding elements that they were incorporated with well beyond practicality. The brand grows tired, the imagery grows weak and the consumer forgets why they ever vouched for your brand in the first place. From the consumer's perspective, failure to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape represents a set of antiquated ideals and operating procedures that may just lose you business down the road. 

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