Utilizing graphic design is probably not something that crosses many business owners’ minds. However insignificant adding a creative element to your website or business can seem, design plays a significant role in branding and legitimacy.
Crucial to our mission here at Revity is ensuring that the digital assets we make for clients look professional and engaging. We use graphic design in everything from web design to emails and ads. Our creative department is essential in helping us deliver quality digital products to our clients.
Here is a little background on our creative department and ways small businesses can utilize graphic design to help grow their company.
Graphic Design and Digital Marketing
Mitch started in animation. His work involved everything from cartoons to 3D animation. As part of his education, Mitch became an intern at a start-up animation studio. There, he spent his time completely enveloped in the creative process, studying art and animation and then putting it into practice.
Soon after launching himself into his career, he taught animation and 3D modeling at a private school until it closed down. He began contracting work for Revity until he was hired as a full-time graphic designer and animator.
When our media and animation department launched, Mitch took leadership over the art side of things and became the official head of the Creative department. Since then, our Creative team has grown from just Mitch to include more artists from around the world.
Our Creative department consists of graphic designers that provide work for all sorts of assets, including:
- 2D Logos
- 3D Logos and Animation
- Branding Guides
- Email Flows and Campaigns
- Social Media Advertising
- Digital Downloads
- Product Labels
- 3D Modeling/Rendering
- Package Design
Generally, we trust our Creative department with their development if we need creative design incorporated into anything.
Here are some frequently asked questions businesses might have about incorporating graphic design into their business model and Mitch’s answers.
How Does Graphic Design Help Businesses?
Branding is everything. Driving down the freeway, you can see so many company vehicles. Some of them have old designs and distorted logos with horrible fonts. At first glance, they aren’t appealing at all.
First impressions are everything. If you come out of the gate with a nice, professionally done website, a clean logo, and professional branding, everything about your brand says, “I know what I’m doing.” It just puts you further ahead.
I believe in the power of first impressions. That’s why whenever I go out on a side venture, I ensure I’ve got a logo, colors, a banner, and some other basic things. These simple things elevate much more than basic profile photos and generic banners.
It’s the same with businesses. We get many clients here that have a logo, but it’s a JPEG of less than a hundred square pixels. Something like that doesn’t look good when blown up; it looks distorted and pixelated and makes for a poor introduction.
If you want to boost your business, you should invest in a good logo and brand guide. These will help you keep a consistent brand across all your marketing and makes a great first impression.
How Do You Make a Brand Guide?
A branding guide is everything you need to know about your brand in one document. This can get quite detailed depending on how extensive you want your brand guide to be.
Your brand guide will have your logo. This isn’t always just a singular image. A brand guide may contain several variations of your logo. You may have a light background logo, a dark background logo, a condensed logo, and so forth.
You will also probably have do’s and don’ts for using your logo: resizing it, if you can squash or stretch it, if or how you can change the colors, and printing instructions.
The colors are straightforward. Your branding guide should have your colors and their hex code, so you can easily make correctly colored content.
You may have to know a little color theory to determine what colors you should use for your brand. That is, what colors work well together and which colors don’t.
Your brand guide should include which fonts you use. Be sure to limit how many fonts you use; two or three should be your max. Make sure you are choosing a simple font that’s easy to read.
Your branding guide can even include the imagery you want to use in your brand. Do you want faces? Product shots? Your branding guide will stipulate these things and even detail how to take these photographs.
The guide you create can also have details like what colors the images you use for your business should have, the light temperatures you should use, how large images need to be for different documents or assets, and more.
What are the Best Tools to use for Graphic Design?
The bottom of the barrel of design tools is Microsoft Paint.
You can do straightforward and basic alterations to an image using Microsoft Paint. You can crop images and do basic color alterations, but nothing too fancy. It has a simple user interface and comes with every Microsoft computer.
Figma and Canva
If you are looking for basic image manipulation or want to make a simple logo or something like that, then these browser-based design websites can help you out a lot.
Both Figma and Canva are fairly affordable and easy to use. Most of the interface is intuitive. You can drag and drop things, add shapes and template designs, and adjust image shapes and sizes.
Adobe Creative Cloud
A more middle-tier tool would be Adobe Creative Cloud. This includes:
- After Effects
- Media Encoder
Adobe has a bunch of other stuff, but these listed tools are what we primarily use. These tools allow us to do anything we need to with images, graphics, and videos. These tools are essential for graphic designers, especially if you want high-quality assets.
There is always more to learn with these tools. If you ever get bored one day, just hop on YouTube and pull up some tutorials. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to do.
Another benefit of using the creative cloud is having design files for all your assets. This makes editing and changing creative content much easier, especially if you are contracting a professional graphic designer for a project or are transitioning from one design agency to another.
This is the highest-tier software I’d recommend if you’re designing something on your own or even if you do graphic design professionally.
The software can get complex and expensive if you really want to get into video and visual effects. You might think Photoshop is complicated, but then you try out a program like Mya 3D, which is just menus of menus. The higher-tier programs are pricey and complex.
What Computers and Specs are Best for Graphic Design?
So, I use a Mac, but it doesn’t matter what you use as long as your computer is powerful enough to handle the programs.
The one thing I care about the most is the RAM. The software itself takes up a lot of memory, especially if you are importing images. The more you edit and the more images, text, and graphics you use, the faster your RAM fills up.
I currently work on 32 GB RAM, but I recommend going as high as 64 GBs. It sounds ridiculous, but it makes a big difference.
I recommend using an external hard drive. Programs like Photoshop and other Adobe programs use a lot of memory and will fill up your computer’s hard drive fast. Be sure to save your computer’s memory for programs and your creative files externally.
The last tool I recommend is Cintiq, which I only use sporadically. It’s just a really big screen you can draw on. It’s a nice tool that can speed up things like editing colors, drawing free-form, cropping images, and other fine detail work.
How do I come up with trendy designs?
If you don’t know where to start on a project, the best thing you can do is look at websites and designs you like. You can learn a lot about what is trending just by paying attention to the design elements other people are using.
Don’t limit yourself to only looking at the websites of big companies like Apple and Amazon. Explore smaller companies, especially niche companies and competitors. These websites can provide valuable insight into what people do and don’t like.
What Are Some Graphic Design Best Practices?
One of the first pieces of advice I recommend is to learn hotkeys. Hotkeys have sped up my workflow so much! I can do something that used to take me two painstaking hours in just five minutes with hotkeys.
If your left hand is not working as much as your right hand, you’re doing it wrong. Whenever I work, I have both hands on the desk, my right hand controlling the cursor, and my left hand is changing tools and making alterations with hotkeys.
The more hotkeys you learn, the more you will thank yourself down the line.
Another thing, especially if you are new to graphic design, is to learn color theory. This is as fundamental as it can get. Learn what complementary colors are and figure out what analogous colors look good. Learn color terminology.
When you learn how to put together a color pallet, you’re no longer intimidated by the dreaded blank page. You already know which colors to use and how they interact. You know which colors induce hunger and which ones are healing. All you need to do is fill in the small details with shapes, designs, and text.
Learn the Software
As I’ve said before, the more you learn how to use your tools, the easier your job will become. Adobe updates its software all the time. You can always learn new things that can cut down your working time.
Upgrade Your Business With Revity Marketing
Design makes a difference, whether it’s a banner for your homepage or an email promoting a sale.
Here at Revity, we take design seriously. Our team of skilled designers stays up to date with the latest trends and is proficient in all the industry-standard design software. Trust us to bring your vision to life and elevate your brand to the next level.
Contact us today to discuss your project and see how we can help you stand out.