“The Importance of Graphic Design in Business” – Rob

We’ve been chatting to our Design Genius Rob Franklin, who has helped a range of companies get seen by new and old customers alike. Rob explains what graphics, brands and logos can do for your business, and what the process is for bringing these ideas to life. We’ll also explore the future of graphic design and how you and your business can capitalise… 

What can graphic design do for a business?  

Well, if we’re talking your basics, your logo, for example, that’s the basis of your identity. It is the first thing that anybody sees and where you make a first impression. So it’s really important to get that bit right. 

What is the importance of brand guidelines? And why should a business of any size have them? 

Your brand guidelines are essentially your business bible, your rules. They’re important because it’s not only you that’s going to be dealing with your identity – you might use third parties or different suppliers. Brand guidelines gives them a list of things they’re allowed use your logo on, whether it’s a print item, promotional merchandise, all of that kind of stuff.  

So if you’ve got a logo which has three colours, you can specify exactly which colours they are. You then can have a hierarchy of different colours, which you can use and give rules about when they can be used, or in which situation that can be used. 

You will also have a list of typefaces, which are used in different ways. So you can create a hierarchy for those as well. So for say, for example, any kind of literature, you would create rules around where they can be used, weights and sizes etc. 

It’s generally just a broad overview of how you want your brand to be used by other people or even by yourself because sometimes you need a little reminder, even with your own brand, how you want to things to look. 

So, what does that process look like? 

The way that the process normally starts is that after the initial meeting with the client, I will have a list of specifications and a strategy for the project, so where they are now and where they want to go.  

Then I’ll receive any assets they have already ,for example an existing logo and a set of brand guidelines, etc. It depends on the size of the business and where they are in their evolution.  

We work with a wide variety of clients, so some of them have already got a website, logo and various other things already, whereas some of them are starting from scratch. Essentially, it’s through having conversations with the client and finding out what they want. 

How should I prepare so that the process can be as smooth as possible? 

For me, the creative process is always a lot easier when you’re not looking at a blank piece of paper. Any kind of direction at all, is invaluable. Anything visual, even a word. To be fair, I would encourage anyone looking for a logo for a brand-new business or a rebrand job to do some research themselves. It’s always a lot easier if they know where they see themselves in the market or where they want to go, and that’s always very, very helpful.  

Sometimes it can feel a bit of a daunting approaching a creative agency and saying, “this is my idea, this is my business, I need all of these elements, but I don’t really know where to start.” So don’t feel like you need to turn up with a massive strategy.  

For example, if you’ve seen something you like, you can show me and go, “you know what, I really liked this logo” and it could be for something completely different, for example someone who makes cupcakes, but you’re selling finance, but you love it.  

It just gives you something to work with. Even if it gets thrown in the bin, at least you’re in the game, you’re in the process. Anything at all to be honest, is better than nothing. Then through conversations, you can get right into the design process and start throwing concepts around and see where we go with those.   

Finally, what are some graphic design trends that as a business owner you might really need to know? 

Forecasts for styling for the coming 12-24 months, is more of an 80s/90s kind of style. It’s a noisier, more disruptive kind of style. This kind of fits in with society as well, where people are far more interested in their own identity than they have been. Obviously, there’s loads of stuff in the news about identity, politics, etc. and I think that this style is coming back because there’s been a long period of time where things have been minimalist and clean.  

Now people are thinking “No, I need to have my own identity.” and they’re going to start doing some crazier stuff. I think that a lot of the ways that we work in our industry is going to have to evolve to incorporate that.  

Messaging is going to evolve, because of the TikTok generation where everything has to be recorded, posted and liked immediately. There isn’t time for brands to have a slow burn anymore. You have to get your message out and get it noticed quickly 

I also think there’s going to be a crossover in the next few years between graphic design and experience design for certain companies, with immersive experiences and virtual reality etc. however it really depends on what industry you’re in.  

Having something which is virtual reality, or completely immersive, you can guide people and make them feel like they’re really part of the process on your journey. There’s going to be a hell of a lot of that coming up as well, I think over the next few years, but then equally, you know, we might end up going back to lovely print, like the vinyl renascence, and having lots of nice printed brochures and business cards and all that type of stuff in the future as well.  

Things go in cycles. But one thing which you can’t deny is that we’ll move with the technology and what’s available. so it’s going be an exciting time ahead. 

A massive thank you to Rob for chatting to us, hopefully, you’ll be able to take something away from our chat. If you want to listen to the full interview, head over to The Genius Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe and share. 

If you need help with positioning, messaging, and making your offering easy to sell,  get in touch to learn more about what Genius can do for you!