February 26, 2018
Contrast creates interest. Three simple words that will help separate yourself from others. It's a fundamental design principal that translates across multiple mediums and platforms that help make your brand pop, your product more intriguing and helps you create a dynamic campaign. Let me dive a little deeper into the principal and how truly beneficial it is.
In design, contrast comes in all shapes and sizes, no pun intended. Every experienced designer knows varying colors, varying sizes of objects, text, images and even varying fonts help set up an interesting hierarchy that directs the viewer’s eye. Contrast allows the viewer to know what is important on a webpage, email, social graphic, blog (the list can go on and on). Now, you may be thinking, well this all seems so simple, so obvious, something that anyone should be doing with their designs, campaigns and brands. Well, unfortunately that’s not always the case.
We utilize the idea of contrast every day to make things more compelling, to make things more engaging, fun and exciting. But have you ever stopped to think about it? Have you ever stumbled upon a website with all text, all the same size, no bolded copy, no italics, no images, no pull quotes, in short – no variety? Would you even read it? Or would you skim through? Would you stop half way down the page from lack of interest? It’s simple. If there is no contrast on the page, our mind doesn’t know what’s important and what isn’t. And here in lies the problem. Our minds need contrast, we need differentiation in life to know what’s important, what’s good and what’s worth our attention. So, what can be done about it?
When diving into a new project think about what you can do to make it different, to make it captivating and standout from others. What is going to make it pop? Experiment with colors, tag-lines and messaging, try to be a little unpredictable to grab the users’ attention. If you’re launching a new product, try to communicate differently than your competitors, create new engagement with existing customers and create a modern, unique design for your product to make it standout. Consider pushing the envelope to engage your audience and grab their attention.
Let’s take a marketing campaign for example. Your company is releasing a new offering and you need a killer marketing campaign to introduce it. You wouldn’t release the product only through social media or web ads. The traction you get will be far more substantial if you vary and expand what platforms you use. Whether you’re utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook, direct mail, email blasts, retargeting ads, always remember that by using contrast, not only in the design of the campaign, but in the platforms used, you will increase and vary your audience. Your marketing campaign will always benefit by using this simple and effective principle.
A phrase that has stuck with me since my first job out of college, that a former creative director loved using to inspire his team. It’s a phrase that I repeat in my head when I’m stuck on a project and through the years I’ve come to realize it’s an essential aspect of day-to-day life. I’ll even go as far to say, no one knows happiness without sadness; the contrast in our lives create interest and variation, and the same goes for marketing and design. Visual communication is key in today’s society and making your communication differ from others will set you up for success. You’ll capture and maintain the attention from your target audience for years to come!
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