Every now and then we start to notice some things that make our designer’s blood boil. No, we aren’t talking about another Coke Zero redesign, but rather a trend that has us tearing our hair out. Maybe it has to do with the fact that most designers are self-taught these days. Or maybe it’s more closely related to the way modern business demands their designs. But either way, we really feel like communication has become absent from modern day designing. This is a terrible thing, as at the heart of all design projects is a drive to communicate something to the viewer in a real and memorable way. As such, we’d like to take a few minutes to explain some of the more important points about communication’s job within design. Starting with:

  1. Design is the Vehicle: First and foremost, before you start putting pen to paper on any project, you should always consider what you are trying to communicate to the viewer. We don’t mean, “Coke is good!” or whatever, but a real, genuine message that the user will take with them. For instance, this might be, “Our new Cokes make you lose weight!” or “Our Cokes are now much tastier than they once were!” All of these could be the messages you have to send out, and as a designer, it’s your job to dress them up in an engaging package. Which leads us to the next point.
  2. The Package is the Prose: In the world of design, we don’t really write out what we want to say. Sure, you can use copy and other text to help convey the message you’re spilling out, but largely the communication will be done through the package design itself. We don’t just mean package in the sense of boxes, either: Anything you design to house other things (like a website) is considered packaging, and it’s vital for the success of your project. For instance, if your package is a rainforest theme, and your content is about Moleskine notebooks, you’ve screwed up somewhere along the line. The package should always compliment the theme and communication goal. It’s your job to find a mix that works, and if you can’t do it well, then this project may not be for you. But above all else, keep the message in mind, and let it flow through the design.