Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Design Strategies

*Picture in original design mock-up courtesy of iStockphoto*

As a design firm in Chicago, we rely on a variety of strategies to create successful design pieces. When our graphic designers take on a new graphic design project, one of the first questions asked is, “Who are we targeting with this piece?” Whether you are designing for certain groups or a demographic, designers always have the intent to grab their viewer’s attention by making sure their design is appealing to the group it will serve. A main goal throughout all of our projects is to capture the viewer’s attention at first glance.

Just recently we designed a mailer for one of our clients that featured a striking man with an odd facial expression. While they did not end up going with this design, we all found the image to be strong and felt it would make people take a second look.  What was the reason behind this design decision? Think about how much mail you receive daily.  Think about how much of that mail you simply throw away without even really looking at it?  As a marketing and graphic design company, we strive to create design pieces that are not simply disregarded. If you received this mailer in your pile of mail, would you stop to read it?  Would you throw it away?  Would you at least be curious enough to read it?

There are many different strategies graphic designers utilize when creating design pieces:  

Evoke emotion(s): Most powerful designs evoke emotions from those who see it.  Depending on what the piece is about, think about what kind of emotion you are looking to evoke from your design and figure out what you can implement to help you achieve that feeling.  Some of the best pieces we have seen are the ones that know how to capture an emotion perfectly. 

Create confusion: If you want to capture your viewer’s attention, try creating some confusion through your graphic design piece.  Designs utilizing unfamiliar objects or mismatched imagery will guarantee a second look. If the imagery is unusual or challenging it may require your viewers to pay attention in order to understand it. Don’t get too cryptic otherwise viewers will simply discard your graphic design if the design just doesn’t make sense.

The element of surprise: As demonstrated in our mailer for one of our clients, images with unusual or surprising visuals will grab the attention of your viewers. Images that go against what is expected by your viewers will make them want to know more.

If you enjoyed these tips and the attention-grabbing mailer shared, leave comments below. Interested in our services? Contact us to have a custom created mailer for your company or small business.


  1. Knowing your target audience would certainly be a good start. It gives you that edge to achieve success. Brisbane Advertising

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