When you design something, you have to make sure that the story of the design is absolutely clear. Whether you are designing for an individual, a small business, or a corporation, it needs to be there. The first step is, of course, to know what story you are going to tell. For many companies, it is quite obvious like health, fitness, fashion, or excitement. For others, you have to dig a little deeper to find it.
Start by brainstorming the project. What words do you associate with the brand? Ask other people, including those who work there and those who don’t, what words they would use. You could even ask the people that hired you what words they want to be associated with their business.
The purpose of a story is to help your audience understand the brand, engage with it, and remember it. As a web designer, you have to convey all of that with a simple image or design. Here are five tools you have in your arsenal to help you:
Use images to your advantage. You can say more with one image than you can an entire page of words. Think about some of the images you’ve seen that tell you everything that really matters about the brand.
For example, the Nike check mark or “swoosh” is a common example – someone sees that and almost immediately thinks about physical fitness and athletic ability.
You don’t even have to think about the logo as an image. Instead, think about the photography that you can put on the website that will connect to the actual story. Some websites can do this without even including the product!
Another choice you have is words. Those words you wrote down at the start of the project? Use those to your advantage! Use them to help you design website navigation, create pull quotes for the images you place, or to fill some of the blank space you have.
Speaking of navigation, that is a fantastic way to tell the story of a brand as well. How your website flows and navigates will allow people to connect with your story in different ways, whether it is printed or digital. Everything from transitions between mouse movements to the size of the fonts that are used can impact user experience.
Something as simple as, “Do you want to push further and succeed? If so, click here,” can be enough for certain products.
Colors tell a story that few other things can. Ensure that your color palette matches with the mood of the brand. For example, blacks and greys probably won’t be a great idea to build a design for a dog spa but neons and pastel colors won’t work the best for a funeral home. You have to think it through and really consider what people expect.
For hints, look at the logo of that company and pull the colors from there.
Technology allows us to tell stories in ways that we have never been able to do before. The biggest trends right now include incorporating videos into web design – after all, nothing tells the story of a company better than those in it.
Thanks to the latest video capturing techniques, including Go Pros, Vlogs, Drones, and traditional cameras, you can match your story to a piece of technology and grab someone’s attention.
The best thing about using video is that it is simple and can be used for marketing purposes as well.
When designing a website, a logo, or even a letterhead, it is essential to tell the appropriate story. Figure out what story you want to tell, including your history and hope for the future, and then get to designing. The tools above are only a handful of what you have at your disposal.