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Custom Web Applications to Help Local Businesses with Graphic Design: A Complete Guide
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You may be vying for a page-one ranking for location-based search on the Search Engine Results Page, which could either be an organic or paid search result. But once you get the clicks, ever wondered what retains a visitor on your page?
How does a potential customer identify you? What makes them want to stay and learn more about your company? How do you build a brand or establish a brand association with the business?
The answer is quite simple. Graphic Design. Why, you ask? In today’s fast-paced world your chance to attract attention and retain it is a swipe away. Without a visual impact you could lose potential customers in a fraction of a second.
Here, talk about custom web applications that can help you transform your digital presence and create a lasting impression among your customers. Use this guide to understand the different types of graphic design needs your business requires, why fulfilling them will help you grow your business manifold and how to meet your graphic needs.
Types of Graphic Design Businesses Need
Differentiating your company from your competitors requires building a brand identity.
The first and crucial step while foraying into the digital marketing landscape, brand design involves the process of creating unified design elements like typography, color scheme, logo, shapes, textures, patterns and illustrations. The style guide for digital communication such as for social media marketing can be used to reflect the determined design elements.
The intersection of marketing and design, advertisement design refers to the visual component of the ads used to sell your services and products. The digital marketing landscape is powered through advertisement design as it acts as a visual rhetoric intended to sway the potential customers to use/buy your services.
A typical ad design could include the placement of the logo, brand text or illustrations—the font, the symmetry and layout. It includes all elements that would make the ad stand out and generate valuable leads for your business. Whether it is display ads, outdoor ads, email marketing or social media marketing, advertisement design plays a crucial role in brand visibility and brand association.
If your clients click on your ad, they expect to be redirected to your website. This means that your website is essentially your first direct interaction with your potential client.
Imagine a client encountering a slow loading website with incomplete graphics, lack of contrast on the text, unstructured layout, inconsistent typography and a visually dull/monotonous display—What does the client think about your business? It shows that you are inattentive and not serious about the impression you create which can adversely affect any conversions even permanently.
Building a responsive, structured and visually appealing website is imperative to reduce the bounce rates and guide your visitors through the sales funnel. It also helps in Search Engine Optimization of your website and making it rank higher in SERP.
The User Interface Design as the name implies, refers to the way the user interacts with the device or application. UI Design is a careful configuration of the visual layout of the web/mobile application that ensures that the user has a seamless and appealing experience.
This includes the design of the icons, buttons, menus, typeface etc. and even the interactive visual elements on the page.
Graphic design is said to be dealing with still images, but it extends into the field of motion graphics through the creation of character designs, menu interfaces, iconography, typography, social media campaigns.
The digital illustrations used in these motion graphics also find its origin in the storyboard of the graphic designer.
When your business is selling a product, packaging design could determine why a customer would prefer to pick your product over your competitor’s product.
Designing your package to reflect your brand values while also communicating to your customer on why and how your product differs from the rest makes customers satisfied. They believe that they are making an informed and smart choice.
The right packaging includes functional containers, appeals to potential customers, contains all the requisite information about the product and conveys the brand identity and values without any meandering and meaningless decor.
Custom web applications used in Graphic Design
There are plenty of web applications available today that help to customize your website or digital content. Some of the most commonly used tools are listed below:
With over 100 million users worldwide, Canva is a free online design platform that is easy to use even without any prior design experience. Canva has many impressive features like image enhancer, PDF editor, video recorder and video trimmer along with a rich template directory—all in one place.
Right from designing logos, business cards, posters, flyers, banners to creating a website, Canva has numerous built-in templates. You can create custom-made professional-like designs effortlessly and for free. It also offers a premium version for businesses called Canva for Teams which is an all-in-one workspace with powerful features like content planning, cross-integration, brand templates, asset management and collaboration. This makes Canva a great platform for all graphic designers with varying skill sets and design needs.
The Adobe Creative Cloud encompasses a wide range of applications that are the industry standard for creating designs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom—the complete arsenal for a graphic designer.
Adobe Photoshop is the best image-editing software available now with its rich set of drawing tools, image enhancement features, pixel-perfection techniques, and video editing options. Illustrator is another application used by graphic designers to create high-quality vector graphics. The application supports extensive features like free-hand drawing capabilities, video editing, AI features, strong layering options and custom palette that allow you the creative freedom to indulge in digital visual content creation.
Though perfect for professional use, Adobe Suite has a heavy subscription model. It also requires a steep learning curve which is intimidating for beginners and light users.
As a tool used mainly for UI design, Sketch is a versatile software available only in macOS. The simple interface with its plug-in ecosystem makes the software a powerful tool to exercise your creative freedom. Easily integrable with additional software, Sketch has a one-time fee, making it comfortable for regular users.
Sketch is also preferred by the product design community for designing prototypes and collaborating with their team. The color variables, shared libraries and vector editing tools make it one of the best tools for the average graphic designer to design digital illustrations.
A vector graphic design tool predominantly preferred by UX and interface designers. The best application for real time co-editing, Figma is perfect for users who have a basic understanding of vector-based design interface. The web-based tool, Figma is best suited for highly collaborative online teamwork but not recommended for advanced illustrations or complex graphics.
Things to consider before choosing a graphic design tool
Since there are an array of graphic tools available, choosing the right one for your business needs can be confusing. So what should you consider before finalizing your tool?
Try to assess your design goals to gain clarity on which software will best suit your business. What graphic design work will I need? What is my long-term interest in graphic design? Do I need a new style guide for digital communication? Should I rebrand my company?
How much exposure do I have with graphic design? Do my skills match with the features and tools available? Are there any support or learning platforms to reduce the learning curve?
Tools and Features
The tool and features should be evaluated first and studied closely with your design needs to ensure that the software meets your requirements. Is it user-friendly? Does it support remote collaboration? Are there regular updates and evolving features to support future needs? How much brand management can be achieved? Is there cross-integration with related platforms?
Some graphic design applications require a hefty subscription amount making it important to evaluate your budget before choosing a software. If your company has a large creative team, investing in a premium version of a software for the long haul is a smart choice. You can also negotiate with the vendor for deals while getting ready support when you choose an industry standard package.
How often will I need to produce content? What graphic content do I require? How many people will be working on the projects?
As we have seen, graphic design plays a major role in your digital marketing efforts. The visual strength of graphics has the capacity to woo potential clients and push them gently down the sales funnel. There are a slew of applications available that cater to the general requirements of the businesses, but the powerful tools require an expert designer to translate your vision into visual graphics.
An expert graphic designer is not only adept with such tools and softwares. They must also have a keen eye for recent trends to effectively communicate your brand values in a relevant and eye-catching manner. With specialized experience and a knack for understanding your vision, my extensive experience heading graphic design projects pose me as solid option for you move forward with.
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