All about Graphic Design and how it applies in Content Marketing! – WAU
When we work with Content Marketing, we enter a very wide and huge growth universe. Therefore, we need to differentiate ourselves from the competitors that emerge on a daily basis. And to stand out from the crowd, we need to invest in something that really sets us apart. Content is already made available by many, but without a doubt the […]
When we work with Content Marketing, we enter a very wide and huge growth universe.
Therefore, we need to differentiate ourselves from the competitors that emerge on a daily basis.
And to stand out from the crowd, we need to invest in something that really sets us apart.
Content is already made available by many, but without a doubt the way that content is presented is extremely important.
Sometimes your content is much better than that of your competitor, but it has generated much less engagement because your content is not so attractive.
And that’s where graphic design comes in!
It is he who will leave your content with a “professional” face. It will give interactivity and visual appeal to your materials.
In addition, beautiful content and cool images awakens the reader’s desire to share.
Shall we understand a little better about this?
What is graphic design?
Design, literally speaking, is a word in the English language that has a very broad meaning, but as a rule it is used to designate a “project” or simply “drawing”.
Interestingly, about 20 years ago all design courses in London were called “industrial design” (which would be a good translation).
Spanish-speaking countries, for example, still use the word “design” when it comes to design.
But what the hell is this design?
Defining design in words is a complicated task, precisely because it uses all the tangible and sensory elements to build.
When we talk about design, we are talking about design, plan and execute something that has a sensory appeal or function.
Usually, as soon as we think about design, we think about images, colors and texts, that is, what is or can be seen, but he can also use the other senses (smell, hearing and touch) to create solutions.
Logo design is: create solutions through a project.
So, for a good design, we need to develop a line of reasoning about the “problem” we want to solve, develop a concept, think about all the hypotheses and probabilities before executing a job.
As it has been called industrial design, a very important part of design is its reproducibility.
As a rule, these projects are made to be produced on a scale. Therefore, flaws need to be pointed out and corrected and that is why every detail of the project must be planned, tested and evaluated.
Design is generally divided into three major areas:
- Product design: projects aimed at the development of three-dimensional and functional objects (chairs, lamps, cabinets, cell phones, etc …)
- Graphic design: projects for visual purposes, with the aim of informing.
- Interior Design: involves design and planning, to optimize spaces in the best possible way. It has already been called decoration.
They, in turn, are divided into countless areas. Let’s focus this post on graphic design, since this is the type of design most useful to content marketing.
What is a designer: the difference between design and designer?
Do not confuse the terms! Fish is fish; ox is ox; manatee is something else!
Design is the activity; designer is the professional.
Just as we have the doctor who studied medicine, the engineer who studied engineering, the architect who studied architecture, we have the designer who studied design.
As the design is very broad, we have specialties within the design (as mentioned above). And we have specialties within the specialties.
For example, a graphic designer can work with:
- Motion graphics (animation)
- Typography (font creation)
- Layout (newspapers, magazines, pamphlets)
- 3D (three-dimensional image modeling)
Most designers are versatile and attack in all areas, but most of the time they have a predilection or simply greater aptitude for certain specialties.
Logo, brand, logo, logotype, slogan …
These are some terms that cause some confusion in the general public, but it is important that this doubt is clarified. The five terms listed above are not synonymous!
Each is a thing. Below is a simple infographic to explain when to use the terms, just click on the image to view it:
According to the infographic (and several design theorists) the logo is a wrong term and does not exist. It is a redundancy probably created by some wordy advertiser.
It would be like calling a guy called “Carlos” “Carlos Carlos”.
Another justification for never using the term “logo” again is the fact that you can look in all design books from the countries that originated and started to treat design as science (Germany and the United States). You will find the terms “logo” or “mark”. Never the two together.
So, here are the definitions:
In essence, the word logo comes from the London logos, which translating into London is “meaning”.
In communication / design, the logo is the symbol by which your brand / company / business is recognized.
In essence, the word trademark comes from the Germanic “marka” which translates to London as “meaning”.
However, in the world of communication, brand word goes well beyond graphic representation. Brand is also related to the concept of the company, what remains in people’s imagination.
For example, when talking about Adidas, you soon think about sports, high performance, all with style and quality.
It is this “image” that came to the head that the brand represents. But the term “brand” is also used a lot to refer to the logo (which is not considered wrong).
When a logo has a text support, we call the total logo symbol. It is the union of a logo and a text. See the examples below for the Nike logo and logo, respectively.
Although it can be found in London dictionaries, the term is not used in the languages that created the craft / science of design. Logo and brand have the same meaning.
“Meaning of meaning”, it makes no sense!
Some people use the word slogan to refer to the logo, but this time there is confusion regarding the similarity of the words.
In fact, slogan has nothing to do with logo.
Slogan is a phrase / expression that defines the company, sometimes also called jargon. It is the work of the editors, not the designers.
There is no point in offering killer content on your blog without worrying about how people will see it.
The concern with design in the graphic materials you provide is very important and very comprehensive, after all, graphic design is present on your facebook page, on your twitter profile, on your website, in your ebook, landing pages, promotional materials , videos, presentations, etc.
Having a good designer on your team is essential, since it is proven that content with good images generates much greater engagement (as can be seen in this research presented in HubSpot).
Speaking the language of the designer
Graphic designers have a very peculiar dialect and are always using difficult terms. This language is so common that it is important to at least understand a few more common terms.
The graphic designer deals directly with two types of files: digital image and the files for print.
And there are some basic differences between them that make a lot of difference in the final result. The biggest difference that exists between these two types of files is the type of color used in them.
The files for printing purposes use the CMYK scale (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
Since they will be printed with ink later, those colors that we see on the screen when viewing the image are merely illustrative. The final result of printing also depends on the calibration of the printer that will perform the printing, the type of paper, etc.
Digital files use the RGB scale (red, green and blue), which are the three light colors that are emitted by any screen.
This scale allows for much more sparkling and fluorescent colors (the reproduction of which would be impossible in printing without special inks).
Types of digital images
In the world of digital images we have two types of images: vector image and bitmap image (bitmap). And it is very important to understand the difference between these two types and their best applications.
Vector images (or simply “vector”) are images with a more “flat” look (flat), without very complex shadows and a more illustrative aesthetic (although some vector artists manage to make vectors that look more like photographs).
Working with vectors can be very useful for a number of factors.
First, vectors are simpler and, in most cases, a simpler aesthetic has a faster and more concise assimilation. If you have a good graphic designer, he will be able to synthesize complex ideas in a few vector elements.
A good example of images made in vector are the covers of our posts here at marketindeconteudo.com.
But without a doubt, the biggest advantage of a vector image is its size and scalability.
The name “vector image” is due to the fact that the images are formed by vector points (just like the ones we learned in physics classes).
Therefore, the images are formed from a few points that generate shapes, which have color information in the fills. More or less like the books that connect dots and color that we loved as a child.
In addition to the very small files, they also have infinite scalability. You can make a 5x5cm art and use it to wrap a 200-story building without losing resolution and without needing a huge file!
Vector images can be found in .ai, .cdr, .eps, .svg, .pdf formats. We will understand a little better about these formats in the part about tools, but I would like to add that, to add a vector to a web page, the format that should be used is SVG.
Bitmap images are the most widespread in the digital environment, since they can reproduce photos faithfully.
The name “bitmap” is due to the fact that images are formed by several tiny dots (called pixels). Pixels are those squares that we see when we zoom in on an image.
Bitmap is undoubtedly the type of image most used in the digital environment, but having a knowledge of its particularities is essential.
First, bitmaps have a very important data called resolution, which is nothing more than a predefined and immutable scalability limit that the image has. Therefore, if you exceed the prescribed resolution of a bitmap image, the pixels will start to “burst” (just like in the example below).
Thus, the ideal is that we always work with bitmap images with a gap of size, always larger than the final file, because sometimes we are making material to be used in a small resolution (display on a web page, for example) but in the future it may be printed.
For digital visualization, the ideal is that we work with images at 72 or 96 dpi, in the RGB color scale. For printing, images must have 300dpi and be in the CMYK scale.
DPI means “dot per inch” – in London, dot per inch – and it is this value that determines the resolution of an image. The higher the DPI of an image, the higher the resolution and the larger the file size.
Bitmap files are found in several formats, but the most famous are: .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif.
If you are in need of images for your materials but do not have the budget to hire photographers or graphic artists, you can find great images available in image banks.
They are not exclusive, but they can save your life in a few moments! Check here the 103 best free image banks on the internet!
Whenever we work with texts, we will use sources. Font is nothing more than the font you use in a text.
Fonts are very important because a wrong font application can make it difficult to read your material and no one has time to waste trying to understand what is written somewhere.
The golden tip here is: be simple! Simple fonts make reading easier. You may be eager to use a radical font in your surfing material, but be very careful!
Very elaborate fonts, in addition to impairing reading, are not well regarded by the design community. They are considered unprofessional, tacky and badly applied.
We recommend that you avoid the following sources:
- Comic Sans MS: has a childlike air and can be replaced by other less used sources
- Papyrus: commonly used out of purpose and has already been used extensively
- Zapfino: used extensively and very invasive, does not work well in layouts
Another cool tip is: get out of the ordinary. These sources cited, in addition to presenting a dubious aesthetic look, were used extensively! This will make your materials look generic.
Creating an identity for your brand / company is directly related to the sources you use in your materials. Choose two or three fonts to be your default fonts.
To find killer fonts, we recommend this post with the 15 best sites to download free fonts.
And what are the tools used by graphic designers to bring this to life? We will list here the most used tools.
A market leader for years, Adobe presents the most versatile and best integrated software today. Its use depends on a paid monthly subscription, but it is worth every penny invested.
Due to its versatility, this is without a doubt the most famous graphics software in the world. Ideal for manipulating bitmap images, it can be used for simple activities such as format and color changes to sophisticated treatments and assemblies.
This is Adobe’s vector imaging software. With it you can manipulate points and fills quickly and easily. Its native files have the extension .ai, but can be saved in any vector format.
Extremely useful program for diagramming extensive materials such as books, e-books, newspapers, magazines, booklets, etc. InDesign’s job is to organize large amounts of information. Its native files have the extension .indd.
If you need to edit your videos with professional cutting features, transitions, color corrections and many others, this is the program you are looking for.
Adobe After Effects
Video post-production software, in which you can make everything from simple text animations appearing or gliding across the screen to exploding helicopters and dinosaurs walking around the city. It is not such an intuitive program and requires knowledge and experience.
Obs .: the adobe package still has several other software, but these are the most common ones in the work areas of graphic designers.
Before the Adobe hegemony, this was the market leader. It lost space for the Adobe suite programs by trying to do everything that all Adobe software does, but not doing so well with any of the functions.
His versatility was compromised by instability. His focus, in fact, has always been on vector images. It is an excellent vector software, but it loses to Illustrator mainly due to the lack of integration with other tools.
Maya, Cinema 4D, 3DS Max, Blender
Three-dimensional modeling and animation programs are extremely complex and require a lot of time to master.
Designers who master these tools are highly valued in the market. Of the 4 mentioned, Blender is open source / free and can be downloaded from its official website.
Gimp is the free open source alternative for anyone who wants a graphics tool close to Photoshop but doesn’t want to pay anything. Professionals who have mastered this software say it can be even more powerful and versatile than Photoshop. Download for free on the official website.
The universe of graphic design is very broad, but I hope this article has helped you to understand a little more about it.
Content marketing without good applied design can have very low effectiveness so don’t ignore it. A good designer is essential to a good marketing team.
Want to know more about how to build an efficient marketing team? Click here!
And don’t forget: make design always focused on conversion!