It might be useful for you to know if your business’s graphic image is having a good performance. I want to show you one route to analyze the design and visual communication of your company.
This way you can have better elements to evaluate how your business is doing on this subject that goes beyond an "I like it" or "I don't like it".
Maybe you're not in touch with the design world, which is fine, this article is for you. Design, particularly the visual communication, can be separated into three dimensions, these three elements are Form, Function, and Meaning.
The three dimensions can be analyzed individually, but only when they are viewed together as a unit, you know if the message is being transmitted correctly.
I mean that all three of them are fully involved in the graphic design, either a logo, a poster, a page, etc.
You may have read about these three elements in this another article about the purpose of the design, but now I want to make it a little more detailed.
This time I will use the following image to illustrate each of the divisions. It is a simple, neutral and easy to understand image. I'll start with the Meaning.
The purpose of design is to communicate, therefore, each design piece (graphic design in this case) communicates something, either deliberately or involuntarily.
A logo, a page, a catalog or an icon, to give just a few examples, says something beyond any word it may contain. This is the meaning in design.
In the case of the image above. What's the meaning? It's simple, a clock. But it will also depend on the context. It can be an alarm if it suddenly appears on your phone's screen. Or, if you are filling out a form, you'll know it might ask for the time of an appointment. If it is on the top menu of your computer it will tell you the exact time.
You can analyze your company's logo. What's it communicating? The question isn't what do you think it communicates? It's what message is receiving the audience you want to address. It is very common for the owner of the company to be very proud of what his logo represents, but to his customers and public, it means something very different.
It refers to the body, it is the mechanisms by which Meaning is expressed. It can be the figures, sizes, lines, points, textures, colors, typographies, etc. that are used to communicate the message.
The Meaning depends entirely on the Form, just as the form should depend on the function. And I say it should because a lot of times it's not like that. I will explain this later.
A larger or smaller line, or a position change, can be enough to give the wrong message. Let's go back to the sample image. Is it really a clock or is it just a circle with two lines? How would the message change if we changed the form?
In these images, the ingredients are the same but with small modifications, the message is completely different from the original.
Again, think about your company's logo. If something changes in the Form, could we improve how the message is expressed?
This is the part where you can analyze how the form and its effectiveness works to communicate the message on almost any occasion. This is to plan and control how and in what situations the design is used. This is why is important to have a branding manual.
Function influences the Form. For example, if a logo looks good on business cards but does not work on the phone screen, then you have to modify the Form to meet this purpose. I see this problem a lot in the companies social network's profile where the logo is too small to read what it says.
In the case of web pages and mobile apps, it is also known as usability. Have you ever been on a website that is very nice looking but you don't know how it works or how to find the information you want? If so, you have experienced how the Form gets dull due to poor Function work.
Once again the image of the clock. It works perfectly as an icon and since it is well done, it will look fine in almost any situation. But how about some extreme examples, for example, a logo is placed on an inadequate background.
Also, it's important to say that the Purpose of what is designed has considerably to do with the Function: Designing the cover of a children's book is not the same than designing the interior signage of a hospital.
It is common to think about design just as the Form, but as you can see it is not so. Visual communication involves more than good-looking drawings.
Share your comments with me. Was this article helpful to you to evaluate the visual presentation of your business?
When the time comes when you need a designer, send me a message. I will be glad to assist.