Graphic design must have relevance within context. The whole concept of adding value through design is hidden in its obviousness. Expressing ideas, actions and values happens in a place of an invisible and almost instantaneous process known as cognition and emotion. To be of any perceived value graphic design must hold relevance within its own content.
Recently – I revised the visual identity for a small tech startup. The company’s core products are IP that covered the finding and interpreting of drawings of molecular compounds – in other words a search software program.
The previous logo was created by a scientist with no formal design training and failed to communicate the value of the companies products. This is the before and after:
The use of a block serif font established credibility. The magnifying glass obviously indicates an action of trying to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly. Since the primary software is a patented search engine, this captures the main value proposition. The value is instantly recognizable in the new logo.
The tagline “Search and Discover” further clarifies the value proposition: An action and a result. And it played well into my SEM strategy for the company.
Graphic design must have relevance within context. Here the logo is placed into the context of the two products the company was offering. One can now clearly see the relevance of the design in the collateral shown:
Business cards, a website and trade show displays – the design must be able to stand alone as a unique artifact.
So the whole concept of adding value through design is hidden in its obviousness. Its invisible yet its plainly apparent. Almost like a magic trick, the expression of ideas, actions and values takes place in an instantaneous process of human cognition and emotion. It happens right before your very eyes – you do not see it taking place – but you recognize the result.