I’ll be the first to admit that using the same graphic design for a length of time can get boring. It is so fun to see new and exciting designs for printed pieces and websites. I love to see what creative ways designers come up with to grab attention, get audiences to take action or demonstrate the distinctiveness of a department. The challenge comes when you decide what your identity is going to look like and then sticking with it.
This week we had a Champion Chat on the subject of Design Basics. Sara Mikoulinskii, the IMC Art Director, led a discussion on graphic design best practices. While IMC is available to help anyone that needs design work done, many on campus do need to create printed pieces or web pages but have not had formal training in graphic design. Sara talked through font usage, the need for white space in design, the power of images and messaging working together and the need for consistency.
All too often we hear people asking for new designs or asking if they can change the colors of the logo or wordmark. This provides the opportunity to talk about the importance of a consistent brand. The easiest way to address this subject is to get people to think about the audience they are trying to reach. If you put yourself in the shoes of the prospective student, for example, they do not tire of the same design being sent to them in email, printed pieces or on the website. They do not see UW Oshkosh communications every day the way we do therefore they do not get bored with the design. In fact, the more consistency we have in every communication they receive from us the more likely they will recognize it is from UW Oshkosh and the more likely it is to make an impression. This rule applies to alumni, current students, and members of the community or anyone you are trying to communicate with. This is the fundamental principal of branding.
Consistency builds brand awareness.
It takes strength to stay consistent. It really can get boring. You just need to remind yourself that you are not the target audience and your audience is not bored with the design. If you change it they may not recognize it.
If you missed the Champion Chat this week here is a great resource
Sara provided that gives some basics on design.
If you need help or have questions call the office and we’ll help! 424-2442.