Designing for a difference

Deepa Umesh, Head of Delivery, Appearition India, talks on how design makes a difference in Branding, Digital Transformation and more:

– Design: why it is a key element to present anything

Design crisps down and presents what we want to convey aesthetically. It communicates ideas that inspire, inform, or captivates consumers. A brand or an advertisement is just another name till you design a logo and a tagline to go with it. From selling products to services, designs, their colours, shapes are what defines and differentiates one from the other. Brand recall happens because of design.

Design outlines 3As – Appeal, Address, Associate.

It attracts (appeal) the attention and gives an introduction about a Brand and thereby creating the FIRST IMPRESSION.

Furthermore, it promotes (addresses) the 5 P’s Product, Price, Place Promotion and Packaging.

Association means positioning and differentiating through a unique value proposition. (Who we are, who are our target audience, and how we can cater to their requirements)

How has design evolved over the past few years?

The fundamentals have always been the same. These days, however, designers are going bold, experimenting with spacing and usage of images, shapes etc. Amongst this metamorphosis, balance has been the constant. Technically, typography, especially negative space typography (space behind the text) is being greatly used, a disruption of basic design principle. Learning to unlearn helps designers greatly because design evolves constantly.

In today’s world, design must appeal in a specific time frame. People consume everything on the move and hence dynamic data design is essential. Design should reach them quickly and efficiently and this can be achieved when we understand human psychology.

Earlier, few brands and few products were there. Now, with the advent of huge retailers and the saturation of the market with innumerable brands and products, bold, bright and minimal designs win.

Not just many brands, but also many social media channels through which ads are being posted.

However, in the enterprise space, corporates prefer black and white to keep it subtle. These two colours reflect any other colour thrown at them. Google’s logo design and layout is one of my personal favourites. They thwarted the idea of more the merrier in terms of design.

Interactive design in terms of UI (User interface) and UX (User experience) seems to be the current. This is due to a largely mobile-first mindset of consumers.  Bright colors plus a 3D composition is an absolute winning combo these days. Custom hand-drawn illustrations are always on the wave of popularity.

– (Generally) what are some key challenges that design can convert into an opportunity?

In my view, creative people provide the skeletal framework – which leads to actual solutions. For instance, designs provide that clarity of thought during a brain-storming session, provides a demo or outline of what is expected.

Innovation creates an opportunity – Brings out customer centric solutions. Ideation unfolds the hidden opportunities. When initiating change management, alteration in design is usually a breakthrough in visual appeal. It sets the new tone.

Design also facilitates in making a roadmap. Numbers, plans of action, goals, activities, time – you name it, design is the one key factor that helps you visualise and provide a sense of direction. This design has evolved over years to PPTs, brochures, goal setting apps or data analytics.

– Visual retention: How people perceive pictures

Studies suggest that people process a visual scene within 0.01 seconds! That is how powerful the visual medium is. This is essentially why people say design speaks volumes. Everything from colour, to the font, to accompanying design or layout, sets a tone to what we try to say.

For instance, red is generally perceived as flashy. So, it is usually used in abundance for emergency response related work or sale – two places where it is necessary to be catchy.

Whereas, blue, white and black for text is considered to be very professional for enterprise communication.

Design drives the tone of the content, and the end user drives the idea of design. It is a small, sort-of vicious circle.

Follow this space for Part-2 of the interview.

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Deeptha Sreedhar

Deeptha Sreedhar

I’m a Chennai-based Writer and Journalist. I handle the Digital Content for Appearition. My super-cool colleagues design, innovate and create magic in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. I use this space to present their magic in text. When I am not editing or scouring for story ideas one bit before hell breaks loose, I enjoy reading crime-fiction books and watching similar television series, do a bit of experimental cooking and some travel to wherever my bank balance supports upon paying all bills.
Deeptha Sreedhar

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