STRAIGHT FROM THE DESIGNER: ESRA LEMMENS ON The importance of Design communication in today’s world

Many people believe that design requires only the right combination of strategy and skill. However, it is so much more than that. Design is about instinct, and stepping into a mindset that is determined to redefine relationships between a designer, and the world which they wish to communication within. It’s a field which constantly demands innovation, lateral thinking and adaptability. And in our media-centric climate, design is more important than ever before.

I initially started working with designers to make people understand and value what they were doing, and how essential efficient visual communication is in today’s world. Public image and communication are vital in ways that they never used to be. Something as seemingly simple as a design decision can determine a businesses entire timeline, from their launch right through until the prospect of their longevity. A businesses reputation, which spans from their public image, influences day-to-day dealings with clients and service providers, and therefore has a lasting impact on profitability and long-term outcomes. Having a sound public image is one of the most valuable assets that a business can possess, heavily influencing operation and growth — trust is arguably the most important aspect of management that needs to be elevated immediately from day zero. This can all be ensured through the development of effective design, and communications strategies.

However, creating and maintaining clear design communication channels often becomes time-consuming and difficult — especially in today’s changing world. By developing solid design communication, you ensure that every time your business or work is visible, your message is clear. In turn, this means that less effort is needed in marketing and customer outreach, so more time can be spent on other business-related essentials, like relationship building and creation.

Once clear design communications are fostered, there lies new challenges in distributing the message throughout the world. The rise of the internet means that many markets are now oversaturated, and ensuring that your business in elevated above the rest becomes harder than it has been in the past. The great news is that while most marketing strategies are pulling away from old world tactics, strategic outreach is much the same as it always has been — create the right perception with the right publications. However, the ever changing nature of modern media requires different management. The constant rise and fall of different media channels has demanded messages be specifically tailored to both their outlet and their audience, calling for specialised management. While a strong message should be present across television, radio, print, email and social media, strategies need to be individually devised for each medium, ensuring maximum engagement. Creating these channel-specific messages ensures clear, effective communication, boosting brand awareness and reputation.

As always, the media maw — old media, social media, any kind of media — is constantly ravenous, demanding feeding all the time. The trick is to innovate on existing media tactics and manipulate them for maximum effectivity in modern media. Most importantly, message distribution relies on relationships — the best way to spread a message is to generate impressive reputations through strategic and deliberate contacts with key industry stakeholders.

Communication is more important now than it ever has been in the past, so finding effective ways to harness it’s power, and use it to it’s full potential is essential.

(Image caption: Daan Roosegaarde, Afsluitdijk)

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