We’ve all done it. We have looked at a creative piece designed for our organization and said something like, “I just don’t like that shade of orange” or “I don’t like that font” or “Really… black text on a bright yellow sheet of paper… that is just plain ugly (unless you are a Steelers fan… but I digress).”
What we have done is allowed our own personal opinions get in the way of creating the best possible piece. Me-search instead of research.
That ugly bright yellow paper with black text might grate against anyone’s design sensibilities, but studies show that yellow paper is one of the best ways to maximize response. Research… not me-search.
Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. Creative is not about you.
Creative design is not about your own personal tastes and styles. This is about doing what is best for the creative piece. That does not mean to always go against your personal feelings. Sometimes, hopefully more often than not, your preferences and your brand’s will align.
To be honest, we have produced many pieces in all our years that were not my favorite design, but they were effective. You must put aside personal preference to recognize that design is not all about you. The most important thing is effectiveness. What is going to motivate the best response from your constituency.
2. Know Yourself
While this statement may seem contradictory to the Point #1, it is a completely different thing. Knowing your brand essence (http://infinityconcepts.net/2016/06/defining-your-brand-essence/), what your organization is all about, and consistently communicating it through visuals, colors, fonts, etc. will help create a reinforced image to your consistency.
3. Keep Abreast of Ongoing Research.
Look at what research tells you about direct mail, digital marketing, etc. Just because something was true 10 or 20 years ago, does not necessarily mean that fact is the most effective method today.
And not just external research, but also internal research. Do continual testing with your constituency. Find what motivates them to engage.
Be open to other influences. Know what your organization is all about. Keep doing research. Keep reading. Keep up to date. Apply what you have learned to what you are doing. Filter it against your brand and continue doing the work. And you will see your creative soar to new heights.