There are many different forms of content today. Websites and businesses are going beyond the written word to include videos and graphics that relay information to visitors. Graphic design has become an integral part of not only the content being absorbed, but how users experience a website as a whole. This field relies on personal creativity, but it can also be an intensely competitive field where finding a great graphic designer can be difficult.
What are the pros and cons of graphic design? Here are some of the key points you’ll want to consider as you work to develop your online or print presence.
The Pros of Graphic Design
1. Most graphic design needs can be accomplished at home.
If you are a graphic designer, then there are numerous software options available to you that will allow you to work from home. You can telecommute or just work as a freelancer if you prefer. If you’re in need of a graphic designer, then you have the ability to outsource this task and potentially save money when compared to hiring someone in-house to get the job done because of this fact. All you need is computer and internet access to get the job done.
2. It allows you to explore your creative side.
It can be costly to create a professional quality video to post online. Direct mail campaigns and graphic images, on the other hand, can have a dramatic impact on those who view them. As you explore your creative side, you get the chance to communicate your core values and ideas in a visual format. People consume more information through graphic detail than words, so a well-crafted graphic can communicate up to 1,000 words of content in 30 seconds or less.
3. Graphic design adds an aesthetic appeal.
You can enhance any message with graphic design as long as the images fit in with the style of the page, the purpose of the organization, and the call to action that is being offered. It can be fun to add fancy graphic effects or new fonts to an image because it “looks cool,” but that doesn’t mean the message is going to get through. You need to create images that not only compliment the other forms of media, but make it visually enticing so that people want to look at the image instead of wanting to look away from it.
4. It captures the focus of the viewer.
Because visual elements automatically catch the eye, they can be used to draw people toward the most important elements that you want them to see on your page, email, marketing campaign, or other content. People who are attracted to a strong graphic design will review all of the content that is incorporated around that design as well.
5. It helps make information easier to share.
This is especially true if you’re using infographics as part of your graphic design elements. A large amount of data can be easy to consume for people who are reviewing infographics. They can also share this image or a link to the page rather easily to their social networks to have your image show up on the newsfeeds of family and friends. It becomes an easy way to reach out to new customer segments because your graphic elements are developing brand ambassadors.
6. Graphic design provides structure.
Having a strong visual structure is important for any form of media. It allows people to follow the content from start to finish so they are able to receive a complete message. Without effective graphic design, people may skip text, stop watching videos, or not even bother to review the value proposition a website is offering.
The Cons of Graphic Design
1. People instantly judge the quality of your content based on your graphics.
When content is being consumed in written format, the average visitor will generally read the content for 10-30 seconds before making a judgment about it. This means there’s a paragraph or two to make a good first impression. In graphic design, images or colors that are a person turnoff to the visitor are going to instantly create a negative first impression. It can be difficult to recover from a miss here.
2. Expectations can be very different from reality.
People enter into every situation they encounter with preconceived notions. There’s just no getting around the personal bias that each person has. When graphic designs encounter this bias, the gap that exists between the expectations someone has for the visual content and what they actually see can be very different. You may communicate everything accurately, yet because of how someone else sees the image, the results can be very different from what is anticipated.
3. Graphic design needs to be constantly updated.
The only exception to this rule is the branding you or your organization may have. Brands speak of an eternal message. All of the other graphic design elements must be consistently updated so the visual impact stays modern and relevant. Even images that were posted just last year may be considered to be out of date by certain core market segments and that can be costly to the profit margin.
4. Large graphic files can decrease website load times.
You must avoid using graphics which have a large file size because this will increase the amount of time visitors need to wait to have their page load. The modern speed requirements are down to around a second, which means most images should contain fewer than 100kb of data. If you’re uploading files that are 1mb or larger, then there’s a good chance your bounce rate is higher than it should be.
5. Too many graphics can make content seem cluttered.
This key point is especially true for graphics that are bright or use images that are viewed as being obnoxious. Maybe having one dancing baby is cute if it is a GIF on a blog page. If you have dozens of dancing babies in the footer of your site that keep going on every page someone visits, then it is going to drive people away.
6. It can be difficult to incorporate text into some graphic designs.
This is especially true for online graphic design needs. Text can be resized when it is published as text. When it is published in picture form, you’re at the mercy of spacing, quality, and other theme or template restrictions which can make the content look incredibly bad in the wrong format.
The pros and cons of graphic design show us that it is necessary to proceed carefully when incorporating visual elements into any form of media. Graphics should be informative, complimentary to other forms of content, and easy to share. In doing so, the negative elements that can be found with graphic design can be effectively limited.