How To Develop a Graphic Design Strategy

Graphic Design
How To Develop a Graphic Design Strategy
Article by Jelena Relić
Last Updated: February 07, 2023

Did you know that imagery and other visual content are more swiftly processed by the human brain—60,000 times compared to written text?

This is the reason why a graphic design strategy aligned with the overall brand strategy is a crucial aspect of any marketing initiative.

Your unique graphic design strategy should leverage your existing successes and eliminate any ongoing roadblocks. It should address existing design concerns and loopholes, unmet consumer needs, and altering buyer behaviors. Plus, it should prepare you for emerging ideas and new trends.

In this guide, we will dive deep into how you can develop your own design strategy. We will discuss its definition and the steps you can take to create a graphic design plan. In addition, you will also glean insights into marketing strategies for a graphic design business.

What Is a Graphic Design Strategy?

The visuals of your brands should represent your personality and reflect your mission and values accordingly. That is why before you start your upcoming marketing project, you need to think of your graphic design strategy first.

A graphic design strategy refers to putting a plan together that evaluates how your designs will complement your business and vice versa.

Its goal is to find the relationship between your creative and visual solutions and your company objectives. It goes beyond aesthetics because it is supposed to express and explain the philosophy behind every artistic component in your marketing campaigns.

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Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

How To Develop a Graphic Design Strategy

Before beginning your next design project, find the time to build a documented comprehensive set of strategies. It will be your roadmap for every phase of the development initiative.

Not sure how to get started? Follow these steps:

1. Define Your Vision and Goals.

Your graphic design strategy should help achieve outcomes defined by your business needs and target audience’s demands.

These goals should be clear and detailed. They can be revenue growth by 60% in the next 12 months or a 6% increase in blog conversion over the next quarter. It is up to you as long as they are definitive, clearly stated, and easily comprehensible.

You can run a design workshop to identify the main areas of improvement in your enterprise and gather valuable insights that can contribute to your design methodologies. One great idea is to get as many stakeholders to participate so you can collect as many relevant details as possible.

Summarize the data necessary to accomplish your vision for the company. They should be measurable and specific to varying roles on the team. Then, determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to define each goal’s success. After which, your team can weigh in to align with expectations and capacities.

2. Do Extensive Market Research.

Being on the cutting edge of your industry can be beneficial. However, understanding what is already working—and what is not—for your competitors can also be greatly advantageous.

In this phase of your graphic design strategy, look into:

  • Your target markets
  • What the competition is doing right
  • Design concepts that you lean toward and are appealing to you
  • Design concepts that you do not like
  • Design styles that will likely not work for you
  • Color psychology in relation to your objectives

Knowing whom you are designing for will help you arrive at smarter decisions—from the color palette to the typography and overall style you want to utilize.

3. Identify Your Brand Identity.

When figuring out how to develop a graphic design strategy, it is essential to build brand recognition in your specialized market. This is founded on ideas that are tied to your brand and speak of the reputation of your product and service offers.

The major goal of your marketing program is to portray your items and services as reliable. And an excellent graphic design strategy can help leave a lasting impression on online users. In turn, it will help advance your brand reputation.

Ferry your brand messaging across target audiences in such a way that is distinguishable and makes you stick out in a saturated marketplace.

Anchor your message on emotional connection. This is especially true since online competition provides people with infinite options. And you should find ways to make your brand a memorable one and form long-lasting business relationships with consumers.

Brand identity components include:

  • A distinctive logo embodying your brand positioning
  • A visual language that is easily recognizable and associated with you
  • Consistent imagery style and focus
  • A feel that is emotional, sensory, and experiential

4. Solidify Your Place in Your Industry or Niche.

In which areas of the market does your brand appear?

Openly and honestly respond to this question. This way, you will know how you can better raise awareness about your enterprise for individuals who may not have a broad idea about you. This will help strengthen your business’s place in your intended niche.

And a graphic design strategy can be very beneficial in this case.

It can be for fortifying your existing website with company details presented in an appealing way. Or showcasing the practical use of your products and services.

5. Be Clear About the Message You Want to Convey.

Your messages can vary, including explaining the worth of your goods and services. The important point to note is to communicate these messages vividly.

A design scheme can significantly complement texts as they can visibly express what you have to say in an engaging manner.

For instance, attractive product packaging draws more eyes and sells items better.

Packaging is highly influential in consumer decisions. 60 to 80% of buyers tend to refrain from repurchasing an item in poor packaging despite being satisfied with the purchase. And 70% of buyers in the US alone lean on completing an order by being influenced by the packaging.

Find the best packaging design company that best suits your business needs. They will walk you through brainstorming and creating the most exceptional designs to fit your brand identity. They can also provide post-service guidance should you need it.

Get connected with the right Graphic Design agency for your project.

Marketing Strategies for a Graphic Design Business

So, what marketing strategies for graphic design business do you exactly need to get results? Shell out scads of cash? Thousands of followers on Instagram?

Your choice of strategies need not be complicated.

You can always start small and slow. Pick two or three strategies to work around and spend a week on each to know which will work most favorably for you. Switch up and try different things. Start with the following:

1. Define Your Specialization.

Ensure that everything you do as a creative entrepreneur reinforces the impression you intend for your clients to have.

Setting up, laying out and fortifying your branding as a visual expert create trust between you and your clients. These demonstrate what you stand for and your capacity to serve their best interests.

This is incredibly valuable in attracting the right customers whose values and goals are aligned with yours.

Put your well-defined brand out there and receive tons of graphic design RFPs.

2. Network and Build Quality Business Relations.

Meeting new people and reconnecting with old acquaintances are the first steps to building and expanding a network.

Making quality connections boosts your reputation.

Keeping these conversations and connections moving forward will get you the right type of clients and a ton of referrals, too.

3. Study Your Competitors and Do Things Better.

Look for ways to set your work apart from close competition. It can be the work quality itself. It can also be other aspects of the creative business, such as outstanding client care and project management skills. Or how fun and easy it is to work with you.

4. Leverage the Power of Social Media and Show You Work.

A strong portfolio is an obvious place to start, and a solid one speaks volumes about your capacities and skill sets. Otherwise, the uphill battle will prove to be stiffer. It will also be more difficult to start a marketing program actively unless you have a collection of previous work pieces.

Get on social media. Instagram is one platform that is most appropriate for displaying designs as the medium is highly visual. Pinterest and Dribbble are other fitting channels to be present on.

5. Dabble in Experimentation.

Try new ideas and mix up strategies.

Constantly look for inspiration—from direct competitors to unrelated businesses—and see how they market themselves well. If you see anything that you think will work for your graphic design brand, try something similar, modify it, and turn it into a better formula to be more suiting to your identity.

Note that marketing strategies for a graphic design business take time, so do not expect to get instant results. Just like any business, yours will not skyrocket in revenue or popularity overnight.

Wrapping Up: The Value of a Graphic Design Strategy in Business

94% of first impressions on a brand or business are design-related. This further proves the vital role of a strong graphic design strategy in a business.

The intended outcomes of a graphic design strategy are streamlined communication processes between your teams and having the correct tools in place.

Your enterprise needs design. From your social media posts to brand positioning, website and even your internal documents, a design is involved.

But without a professional team of graphic designers, your strategies may become disorganized and you may find your meetings, emails, and project planning in complete disarray. Hence, it is recommended to hire the best graphic design agency on the market today—one that is fully operational, has a strong portfolio and will complement your business requirements.

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