Values not aesthetics. The crucial aspects of good design
by Michał Drabik Last update: 03/2023 · 5 min read
Every visual element included in your design can help communicate your brand's values and core messages.
At Adchitects, we understand that design is much more than just making something look pretty – it's about giving your audience a comprehensive and clear message about who you are. During our workshops with the client, we determine what values should be represented in the final project (e.g. modern, friendly, trustworthy) and values that the brand categorically does not want to be associated with (being too controversial, old-fashioned, elitist).
Values chosen during the workshop can be transmitted via various visual elements that build a coherent visual identification of the brand. Here's how it's done:
1. The role of typography in graphic design.
Typography often provides more than just aesthetic enjoyment, it has the power to express and communicate ideas through its shape, size and typefaces. Each typeface carries a personality and a message associated with it. Serif and sans-serif fonts evoke different emotions. The former have traditional rounded letters that can communicate prestige, elegance or timelessness. Sans serif typefaces have a modern sharpness that suggests progressiveness or innovation. Understanding typography and using it to your advantage is essential to any successful message.
Our client ApprovalMax wanted to slightly differentiate from their industry as they realized their visual identity was way too similar to a direct competitor. By adjusting the typography for a new typeset we not only changed the general feeling of the brand for more fresh and innovative but also kept the important rules of being reliable and uncomplicated.
2. Meaning of colors. Take advantage of it to help your brand.
Colors can evoke strong emotions and can influence the perception of a brand. The use of warm colors can shorten the brand's distance from the client. Cold colors, such as green or blue, evoke a feeling of stability or are associated with technology. The contrast between different color schemes can also be used to create an electrifying design that will grab people's attention and leave a lasting impression. The selection of the right color should not result from the current graphic trends, but be a carefully thought-out composition rooted in the culture of the group's target audience, who can interpret color nuances differently.
Our client Seasn wanted to express a variety of values to match a wide audience. As a solution we proposed a simplified, yet multi-colored emblem in logotype. Each color represented its own value that was transferred into the mobile application: orange referred to calm as the application wanted to be welcoming, and violet referred to wisdom as the brand's main target group was mature women as the brand aimed to help them with financial independence.
3. Why is visual content important?
Bill Gates once said, “Content is king.” Content is a major success factor for any brand or business. Currently, anyone can take photos with a phone, which is why the right artistic direction and content selection determine the success of a brand or its downfall. This choice depends largely on the target group, as different audiences react differently to different types of content. Knowing your target audience and choosing the right content can help you build relationships with them, and they will remember your brand for many years.
While redesigning the new website for Kaiterra we highlighted simplified dashboard screens and exposed minimalist products as we prioritized the readability and indispensability of Kaiterra solutions.
Pictured is the responsive website for Kaiterra, created by Adchitects.
4. Don't forget about movement animation
The last element of the brand that is often overlooked is motion. In the current era of smartphones and communication in the digital world, it is necessary to use the entire spectrum of possibilities offered by new media. The customer will perceive the dynamic movement of elements on the website differently when the brand screams at them trying to grab their attention. If the customer expects legibility from the brand, he will prefer small micro-interactions that improve the experience and help in navigating through the product page.
As we redesigned the e-commerce shop for Ugallery we focused on their target group: mature people that appreciate functionality over aesthetics. As we wanted to address UGallery main values like approachability, helpfulness and friendliness we focused on showing as little of micro-interactions as possible. Being understandable for the audience was the priority as creating a more dynamic layout would break up the development of the new branding and thus lose many older customers.
Designing visuals for clients is not just about making something that looks nice. Brands want their values to be reflected in the finished project. By agreeing with our Clients on which values are important for the brand, we decide how the target recipient can perceive the values when they see the brand for the first time: while browsing their social media, visiting the website, or using the application. Creating visual design content is about ensuring each element reflects what the client wants to see in their design.
Article by Michał Drabik, UI designer