What is good graphic design?

Graphic design – we actually call it communication design, is the act of conveying information, ideas or beliefs from point A sender, to point B, audience, via (these days) many different media; using words, sounds and images and the black box we call the creative process. 

That is communication design. That is what we do.

And in this increasingly congested, competitive and noisy world, its role is becoming more important, because if what you want to say isn’t delivered with simplicity, distinction and intelligence, Google, Twitter, Amazon or Pinterest will present your clients with a myriad of alternatives in seconds. 

Here are four simple measures of what we consider to be good design and good design practice.

Relevance and practicality 
Good design is something that is relevant and practical. On the battlefield for consumer attention it has to stand out, yes, be eye-catching, but ultimately good design is something simple; that communicates a message or an idea clearly and effectively. Bad design never addresses the problem it is trying to solve.

Design intelligence 
Designing without an idea is like advertising without a message, you can end up with something pretty, but you also end up relying on the cosmetic, and the experience can become hollow very quickly.

Good design companies will always design well. But the best also think well because ultimately, its the intelligence of a solution that makes it a memorable solution.

A little emotion 
Good design should always try to provide solutions that include the broader themes and ideas that communicate with people on a more human, personal, emotional level, ensuring the message is personal enough to achieve a measure of meaningful engagement.

And a bit of ‘what if ..’ 
Yes of course designers need to be responsive to client need and deliver affordable solutions but its also our job to challenge your brief when we think its appropriate, and look at the job from our desk not yours, and always with an implied permission to ask ‘yes that’s fine but what if …?’

In conclusion
At its heart the modern design communication agency should be able to understand how people think, to understand quickly the benefits of functionality and aesthetics, what something is, what it does and why that is good. And then how best to communicate that in the most compelling and receptive way. That is what we call good graphic design.