Why [Good] Graphic Design is Important
Images can be identified, processed, and understood in as fast as 0.013 seconds, while the average American can only read about 5 words per second. Think about that for a moment. It will take you nearly 100 times longer to read: “cow jumped over the moon” than it will to see and comprehend a picture or graphic of a cow jumping over the moon.
So, what else will graphic design do for you other than help you get the point across faster? For starters, good graphic design will:
Attract the viewer’s attention.
Whether you are conscious of it or not, your brain is processing all the imagery on a page while you skim and read. It’s taking it all in and piecing together a puzzle made up of images and words which results in the overall impression, or the take away, from any site, book, magazine, brochure, and so on.
Good graphic design pulls a viewer in.
Hold their attention.
Let’s be real: an infographic is visually more fun to look at than a 500 page essay. It helps to break up text and give our brains a natural resting point. Would you rather sit and read some lifeless words about the harmful effects of the sun, or would you prefer to look at interesting images and graphics with a small sprinkling of words to go with it?
Good graphic design keeps the viewer interested.
Direct the focus.
Through good graphic design, we can direct the viewer’s attention in any direction we want through visual hierarchy, focal points, and design movement. What does this mean? With purposeful elements like big headlines and eye-catching graphics, and a thorough knowledge about how our American brains “read” things, a skilled graphic designer tells the viewer’s eye where to go next.
Bad graphic design throws everything at the viewer at once and is overwhelming.
Good graphic design shows the viewer where to look next.
Did you know that 65% of us are visual learners? So since we can process images better than words, good graphic design increases our understanding of what’s being presented to us. The image has already attracted our attention, held our attention, and then directed our focus in a specific way, so now we naturally understand it better. Imagery and graphics reinforce what we’re reading.
Good graphic design pulls all of the above elements together, and lets the viewer walk away with a better comprehension of what they’ve just seen.
Make it memorable.
So because our attention was captured, then held and directed, we understood the message better. Once we understand something, we lock it away and remember it and reflect on it. The more time a person spends reflecting on something, the more likely they are to recall it again later.
Whatever your message, whatever the platform, deliver a strong message. Use great graphic elements!