If the response you’re aiming for is WOW, how do you know your WOW is for the right reason? In a world where technology allows design parameters and possibilities to be consistently expanded, it’s easier than ever to create a design that is visually eye-poppingly, jaw-droppingly WOW. However, history is littered with examples of great design that simply didn’t deliver when it came to the all-important question, “But does it work?”
When Steve Jobs said, “It’s not just what it looks like or feels like. Design is how it works”, it’s important to note the word “just”. If design is how it works, then truly successful design is that which successfully achieves its objective, and that very much includes look and feel. When it comes to your PR/Comms Strategy, that objective is the accurate communication of your key messages so that they are clearly seen, heard and understood. Any design therefore needs to begin with a deep understanding of what it is you want to say, who to, and why. An appreciation of all the other communication elements within your strategy plus the context in which the design is to be shared can then help to inform and shape the aesthetic and physical design dimensions. For us, the WOW we are looking for comes occurs only when the look and feel of any design positively contributes to delivering results.
While our design experience covers a diverse range of print and digital work, one of our most challenging design tasks came when, working with a partner agency, we were asked to design a technical medical poster for a pharmaceutical client. Not only was the poster to be displayed at a symposium attended by leading specialists in a particular medical field from around the world, it also had a very specific job to do. It had to quickly and clearly communicate some ground-breaking research data and do in such a way that it encouraged attendance to a keynote seminar. Further complications included not only having to comply with rigorous design criteria mandated by the symposium organisers, the content including copy, images and design also had to be compliant with very demanding industry standards. One of several designs submitted received the first WOW from the client with the second coming after a successful symposium where the finished poster had generated positive responses from the client and industry experts alike as well as positive attendance levels for the keynote seminar.
Aquamarine Public Relations
Helen Lawn & Associates