Most people don’t realize that design can make or break a PR campaign. They may focus more on the campaign than the visuals, branding, and design aspects that go with it. The goal in Public Relations is to make a brand that is visible, easily accessible for the public, and eye catching. All three of these things go hand in hand with the design of the product or company because that is what the public will see and recognize as part of a campaign. Here are three tips on how to successfully incorporate good design into PR.
1) Consistency is key!
Consistency in branding makes it easier for the public to recognize a brand and helps them see how extensive a brand can be. When you have the same logo on every website, social media page, and advertisement, more people will see it and recognize it. This is good because the more exposure a brand has, the more the public will take notice and remember them in the future. What will attract the public eye first when noticing a new company, ad, or campaign is how the company portrays itself.
2) Make your brand accessible.
In Public Relations, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate the company and find what they need to know in a timely matter. Have you ever gone on a website and whatever you do you can’t seem to find the page or information you are looking for? This is very frustrating, and it turns people off a brand because it makes the brand seem less trustworthy. When you use a clean crisp design on promotional items, ads, and most importantly your website, people are more likely to spend more time learning about your campaign and company. The more straightforward a company is about their goals and other relevant information, the more likely the public will be to trust the campaign. Accessibility like this is only possible with a strong and consistent design at its core. A messy or confusing website can cause the most important information to become difficult to find.
3) Design can speak louder than words.
Design, especially logo design, can say so much more about a company than just its name. A designer’s goal is to translate the campaign and goals of the company into a beautiful system that works in all mediums. The beginning of this is the logo. A good company logo conveys what words cannot: the expansiveness of a company and what the company essentially is. This all can be conveyed by design choices. A sharp clean logo gives the public the impression that the company is serious, trustworthy, and official. In comparison, a logo that is more free-flowing or abstract can appeal to a different category of people. Logos like this are often used for companies that would like to appeal to children or more creative minded adults. Similar to PR, the goal for design is to see the company as a member of the public and to get information across clearly and effectively, in an interesting or intriguing way to draw in customers.
Overall, Joe Sparano says it best, “good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” The goal of using design to your advantage in PR is to make it so the design helps the campaign, but doesn’t take it over. Great design simply fills in the holes to make a strong campaign even stronger.
Elise Cameron is a Junior at Grand Valley, majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Photography. She has a strong interest in Advertising and Public Relations and loves experimenting to see how Graphic Design can be integrated into these fields. Elise is excited for this year with Grand PR and can’t wait for new experiences, skills, and friends to be gained along the way. When Elise isn’t working on design she can be found hiking, biking around campus, or petting dogs.