When considering a piece of graphic design work, especially when it comes to your brand’s look and feel, you may tend to use your ‘critical brain’ to analyse.
- Does it represent our business?
- What does it communicate?
- What will my target audience think?
It’s easy to overthink this, and end up with a result that kind of pleases everybody but doesn’t really say all that much.
In reality, a lot of the communication of graphic design happens subconsciously – without us even knowing. The human brain recognises colours, shapes and textures and adds meaning to them before we even have a chance to make a rational decision on what colour to use for the logo, or what shape to make a specific icon.
If you can understand and harness this subconscious communication, you’re well on the way to creating graphic elements that are irresistible to the brain – those big-brand logos that we all know and could draw with our eyes closed.
Here are three common graphic elements, how they work on our brains, and how you can use that force for good.
Colour is a messaging shortcut to the brain.
It’s always among the first things to be considered when designing for a brand – it forms the backbone of all designs and will usually appear in some form in everything you produce. Colours contain emotional meaning, signifying a tone and energy about the brand that is perceived immediately by viewers.
Colour is powerful as a categorising tool. It helps customers to gain an understanding of your brand instantly. Everyone’s brain already contains a lifetime of associations built up through exposure to thousands of brands. Green might convey an environmental consciousness, or suggest energy and efficiency. Red conveys heat, speed, and famously hunger.