Design Principles: Graphics, Icons, and Photos
So photos, graphics, and icons, similar to typography, they all can convey a personality. They all have a voice. And they all have the ability to impact what we are thinking about a company. So let's say we are getting married and we need a cake. And we live in New York City. We're having a big fancy black tie super classy wedding. So we need like the sheik cake people. Not the cutesy cake people. So we need a baker for a wedding cake. So imagine we go to a couple websites. Now these websites are the same, except for one key thing. So let's say we come to this website. Wedding. Then let's say we go to this one. Which one would you maybe go with? Or be gravitating towards? This one? Or this one? To me, I don't know about you, to me, I gravitate towards this one. To me I said in the beginning, we're having a classy black tie fancy wedding. That's the clientele that this is, this is going to attract. Why? Because the photo. It's this black, classy looking people, with fancy outfits. It lo...
oks like, you know, maybe more expensive or something. This looks cute, fun, cupcakes. Like, maybe we're having a wedding in a backyard or something. Not, like, some evening wedding at some fancy hotel in New York. So photos really have the power to influence. Again, same, same website. Same information. Just different image. That is all. Same thing with a business card. Icons can have a really big impact here. So, we've been seeing this business card just with this icon all along. But there's many other icons we could have used for this cupcake bakery. And each of these icons, similar to those typography examples, that said let's get started in all the different fonts, these icons can all give different feeling and different personality as well. Some of them to me feel a little bit more sophisticated. Some of them feel maybe more minimalist. Some of them maybe feel more out there. So, that's why it's important to consider the care in choosing icons. And some, I probably spend too much time choosing icons, but, there have been times where I spend like 15, 20 minutes trying to find the right icon. And I, if I ask my friends who design icons, they would spend hours because they know that the look of the icon is communicating a lot about the brand. So same bakery, different icon. One of them could make the brand feel maybe more whimsical. One of them maybe feels more minimalist. You could have your own words to describe these. Different as well. Different feelings. So, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Most, most of the time. So we need to be really really careful about the images that we are selecting and those icons as well. Because our first impressions are impacted by these images and by these icons that we are seeing. And we need to take a lot of great care. Maybe you're not spending 20 minutes choosing your icons but, in reality, that's what professional designers really are thinking about when they are designing things. And to kind of drive this home, I was doing some research for a website. They wanted me to look at their homepage, and see if people understood what the company did. It was a website that you went to to get DIY instructions to fix your Apple computer. So I needed to replace a battery. And I actually was on this website. And I learned how to do that. But, on the homepage, I was watching people use this website to do research, that's part of what I do, and on the homepage there was an image of a video game controller. And one of the questions I asked the people using the website, I said, okay we're on the homepage, what do you think this website is about? They're not reading. They said, oh I see a video controller. It's gotta be about video controlling. Or video games or something like that. Fixing your video game controllers. That was not what the company was about. The company was about helping you fix your Apple products. Replace your Apple products. But because they had an image of a video game controller, for whatever reason, people were coming to their homepage and making the assumption that this was about video games and not fixing your Apple computer. So that's the power of visuals. And hopefully you're starting to see that power as well. So and we need to be thinking about what message do the visuals send people. And are you sending the same message across all of the parts of your brand of your business? Even if you are not a business, even if this is just relating to you as a person trying to get a job somewhere, you need to be thinking about, what message are you sending people. Is the photo on your Linkd In matching the photo on your Facebook, or matching the photo on your Twitter? Not that they all need to match. But what message is that communicating to people. 'Cause people are gonna make a first impression because we're not children anymore. And people are judging us by the cover unfortunately. So we need to consider that.