Category: Print Design

Effective or pretty?

Posted in Strategy on by David Cecil

We just passed around a great article by Mark Cook, a professor of graphic design at the University of Notre Dame, which questions what the purpose of a graphic designer should be. Here is an excerpt from the full article, which can be read here:

Historically, graphic designers have been commissioned to communicate messages in an attractive and desirable way using a combination of type and image. While this is still very much a part of what we do, the role of ”graphic designer” has become increasingly strategic, resulting in a conscious move away from anything that could be perceived as simply decorative. We have worked hard to hold a seat at the table, and fear that recognizing the persuasion of aesthetics will relegate our professional contributions to that of a technician adorning someone else’s thinking. But perhaps the pendulum has swung too far the other direction.

Our opinion?  Sorry graphic designers – you need to do both.  Great design work needs to communicate the right message to the right people in the right way, AND look great while doing it.  I think this is the point that Mark is making, and it’s a good one – you can’t discount the value of doing something that looks pretty anymore than you can discount the value of doing something that is based on sound brand strategy.

Creativity, even when based in sound business strategy, can be subjective.  For this reason, every time a business engages us to design something that will visually capture their brand and message, there is an element of trust involved; we take this trust very, very seriously.  We relish the opportunity because it makes days like today even better, when we can send another happy client on their way with a visual solution in place that we’re positive will do great things for their business.

Today’s portfolio addition is Health Care Consultants of Kansas City, a brand new business with a brand new website and a brand new business card.