Blog Post by: Sarah Obialero
Graphic design dates back to the beginning of our very existence – when humans carved simple images on cave walls as a way to communicate a message, often a VERY important one. Now, fast-forward to today. Graphic design has evolved into the ultimate powerhouse of persuasion. It encompasses everything from advertising to fine art, logos and branding, photography, typography, digital animation, video and beyond. Good graphic design rapidly affects our emotions, greatly affects our decisions, and in turn, our actions, which are all vital players in the nonprofit fundraising world.
To put it in perspective, visual graphics are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text and get etched into our long-term memory faster than we can say, “Wowzah!”
So that begs the question: in a world dominated by visual communications, how can having good design, good branding, and good visuals make or break you?
To start, let’s work through how design affects one’s emotions, decisions and actions. Since visual content is processed by our brains as fast as a lightning strike, our emotional response is the first to react. We see something – a logo, a email, a mission video, an event invitation, a social post, and within split seconds know how it makes us feel. If it’s something we like or don’t like, if it makes us feel happy, sad, excited, interested, or nothing at all. It’s that emotion that leads to the next step – the decision.
Once we’ve established how we feel, our decision-making kicks in. We decide whether it’s worth our time to keep our attention, to continue reading, watching, or listening. We decide if what we see can be trusted and if we should do something about it.
That leads us to the final part – action. Whether that’s clicking through to a webpage, purchasing something, donating time or money, responding to an email, sharing a post, asking a question, etc. The action your audience takes is ultimately the end goal of having good design.
Graphic design is largely the way in which we combine text and images or video together. It seems so simple. Yet even back to the beginning of human existence, the importance of having good imagery and messaging often resulted in one’s very survival.
So, a word to the wise – don’t dismiss the look and feel of your communications as an afterthought. Take the time, energy and effort to invest in polished branding and graphic design. It can quite literally be a driving force to your bottom line!