Graphic design can help your business establish its identity. If you have strong, visually-stimulating branding, it can set you apart from your competitors and help your brand become a leader within your industry.
Make More Noise’s PR Account Manager, Melissa Blewitt, talks through a recent graphic design project she worked on for Astwood, an innovative technology company that houses brewery Lab Culture and vertical farm, Vertivore, and how she has grown to realise why graphic design can set a business apart from its industry competitors.
As a visual person, chatting to clients about their new product launches always gets my creative ideas flowing. Finding the right visual fit for a business can make or break a brand, whether that could be for potential investors, customers and potential employees.
In a monthly meeting with the Astwood team, one of their requirements was to create a new design concept for Lab Culture’s new 440ml cans. This is a first for Lab Culture, as they had previously kept their recipes contained in either their standard 330ml can or a glass bottle.
This meant complete creative freedom, although keeping their branding in mind, the main goal is to produce something with the wow factor.
I have gotten to know Astwood and the team fairly well, and from completing jobs in the past, I have realised their branding and identity. However, the initial process is simple:
Where do I start?
It always begins with looking at the current branding and asking yourself, and your client, the following questions:
What does their brand stand for?
Who is the target market and/or current market?
What does the client want or visualise for their product?
What are their competitors doing?
Although the project allowed creative freedom, you never want to stray away from what the client already has in place. This can cause confusion with customers who may not recognise your product if there are too many changes made to the original packaging.
Look at colour schemes, content, font types, sizing of images…all of this makes a huge difference!
Why are graphics so important?
Brands with a strong visual representation, from their logo, website and even social media content, reap better rewards than those that don’t. If you compare other brands that have just a typical black and white logo, with nothing to help draw your eyes to their page, compared to an eye-catching, unforgettable business, it’s a no-brainer who the customer will be drawn to most.
A great example quote from Coca-Cola:
“If Coca-Cola were to lose all its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business” – Coca-Cola Executive
What don’t people realise about graphic design?
Every time I answer this question, my answer is always the same. Graphic Design can be extremely fun and rewarding, but certain elements can be very time-consuming. The thought and care that goes into the simplest section on a flyer, brochure or even a social media post can take a surprising amount of time.
As they say, ‘fast is fine, but accuracy is everything’ and it’s always a rewarding feeling when a client loves your work and you get to see it in the flesh.
Even now, seeing customers appreciate the branding of the new cans via Lab Culture’s social media brings me joy.
Back to Lab Culture…
One thing about the brief was clear: each can had to have it’s own personality but had to be in the same style so customers would recognise the range.
The theme of the beers were all based on their flavourings. There is Dairy Milk Stout, which definitely screams Cadbury Purple, Lime All Yours, which is green and Blackcurrant Bring Springs that has a bit of a fruity feel.
The splats on the can were in reference to the science behind the branding. With Albert Einstein’s head, it only seemed fitting that a splat was the result of a scientific discovery: Lab Culture’s new recipes. Plus, the metallic edge on the print makes the cans really stand out and achieve the wow factor that was discussed in the briefing.
My top tips:
With timings in mind, try to produce a few initial designs as opposed to just one. If your client is not set on your one piece of work, this can be frustrating for all parties involved if the first one is immediately scrapped.
As a graphic designer, there is definitely a knack for articulating somebody’s words into a creative piece and as we know, graphics definitely like any other art is completely subjective.
So, I always say, if there are a few designs to choose from, it can be helpful to choose the best elements from each and find a solution quicker that’ll please the client (and you of course).