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Leonid Sukhanov
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How To Use Graphic Design To Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh


How To Use Graphic Design To Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh




Graphic design is the art and practice of using visual elements to communicate a message, idea, or concept. Graphic design can be applied to various media, such as logos, posters, websites, magazines, books, packaging, signage, and more. Graphic design can also have different purposes, such as selling things, explaining things, making things look better, and making people laugh.




How To Use Graphic Design To Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh



In this article, we will explore how to use graphic design to achieve these four goals, and how to learn from the examples of one of the world's most renowned graphic designers: Michael Bierut. Bierut is a partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram and has worked for clients such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets. He is also the author of the book How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World, which showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects and reveals his philosophy of graphic design.


How To Use Graphic Design To Sell Things




One of the main purposes of graphic design is to sell things. This can mean selling a product, a service, an idea, or even yourself. Graphic design can help you attract attention, create interest, generate desire, and prompt action. To use graphic design to sell things effectively, you need to consider the following aspects:


  • Know your audience: You need to understand who you are trying to sell to and what they want. You need to research their needs, preferences, motivations, and pain points. You need to tailor your message and your design to appeal to them and persuade them.



  • Know your product: You need to know what you are selling and what makes it unique and valuable. You need to highlight its features and benefits and show how it solves a problem or fulfills a need for your audience. You need to differentiate it from your competitors and create a distinctive identity for it.



  • Know your medium: You need to know where and how you are going to sell your product. You need to choose the appropriate medium for your message and your audience. You need to adapt your design to fit the format and the context of your medium.



For example, one of Bierut's projects was to create a new logo for Mastercard in 2016. The challenge was to update the iconic logo that had been used for 50 years and make it more modern and digital-friendly. Bierut decided to simplify the logo by removing the wordmark and keeping only the two overlapping circles in red and yellow. He also refined the shape and color of the circles and created a new custom typeface for the word Mastercard. The result was a logo that was more minimalist, versatile, and recognizable across different platforms and devices.


How To Use Graphic Design To Explain Things




Another purpose of graphic design is to explain things. This can mean explaining a process, a concept, a data set, or a story. Graphic design can help you simplify complex information, organize it into logical categories, visualize it with charts or diagrams, and make it more engaging and memorable. To use graphic design to explain things effectively, you need to consider the following aspects:


  • Know your content: You need to know what you are trying to explain and why it matters. You need to define your main message and your key points. You need to filter out any unnecessary or irrelevant information and focus on what is essential.



  • Know your structure: You need to know how you are going to present your content and in what order. You need to create a clear hierarchy of information and a logical flow of ideas. You need to use headings, subheadings, bullets, numbers, labels, captions, etc., to guide your audience through your content.



  • Know your visuals: You need to know how you are going to illustrate your content and make it more appealing. You need to choose the appropriate visuals for your content and your audience. You need to use colors, shapes, icons, images, graphs, maps, etc., to support your message and enhance your meaning.



For example, one of Bierut's projects was to create a series of posters for the Yale School of Architecture in 2006. The challenge was to explain the theme of each lecture series in a visually compelling way. Bierut decided to use typography as his main visual element and play with different fonts,


sizes,


colors,


and layouts


to create dynamic


and expressive


posters.


The result


was


a series


of posters


that


captured


the essence


and diversity


of each


lecture series


and attracted


the attention


and curiosity


of the audience.


How To Use Graphic Design To Make Things Look Better




A third purpose of graphic design is to make things look better. This can mean improving the aesthetics,


usability,


and accessibility


of a product,


a service,


an environment,


or an interface.


Graphic design can help you enhance


the appearance,


functionality,


and experience


of something


and make it more attractive,


user-friendly,


and inclusive.


To use graphic design


to make things look better effectively,


you need


to consider


the following aspects:


Know your style: You need


to know what kind of look


and feel you want


to achieve


and what suits


your product,


your service,


your environment,


or your interface.


You need


to choose


a consistent style


that reflects


your personality,


your values,


your goals,


and your brand.


You need


to use elements such as colors,


shapes,


textures,


patterns,


images,


etc.,


to create harmony,


contrast,


balance,


  • and emphasis.



Know your layout: You need


to know how you are going


to arrange


your elements on a page,


a screen,


a space,


or a surface.


You need


to create a clear layout that follows


the principles of alignment,


proximity,


repetition,


and white space.


You need


to use grids,


guides,


margins,


padding,


etc.,


to create order,


structure,


  • and hierarchy.



Know your typography: You need


to know how you are going


to use text on your product,


your service,


your environment,


or your interface.


You need


to choose fonts that match


your style,


your message,


and your medium.


You need


to use typography techniques such as size,


weight,


case,


spacing,


etc.,


to create legibility,


readability,


  • and interest.



For example,


one


of Bierut's projects


was


to redesign


the signage


system


for


the New York City Department


of Transportation


in 2013.


The challenge


was


to improve


the clarity,


consistency,


and visibility


of


the signs


that guide drivers,


cyclists,


pedestrians,


and transit users


throughout


the city.


Bierut decided


to use


a simple


and bold


typography system


that used


only two fonts:


Clearview


for highway signs


and Helvetica


for street signs.


He also used


a color-coded system


that used


green,


blue,


brown,


and white


to differentiate


different types


of signs.


The result


was


a signage system that made navigation easier,


safer,


and more pleasant for everyone.


How To Use Graphic Design To Make People Laugh




A fourth purpose of graphic design is to make people laugh. This can mean using humor,


wit,


irony,


or satire


to entertain,


amuse,


or provoke


your audience.


Graphic design can help you create fun,


surprising,


or absurd visuals that elicit laughter,


smiles,


or chuckles.


To use graphic design


to make people laugh effectively,


you need


to consider


the following aspects:


Know your tone: You need


to know what kind of humor


you want


to use


and what suits


your product


or service


or message


or medium


or audience


or situation


or context


or purpose


or goal


or brand


or personality


or values


or goals


or brand


or personality


or values . You need


to choose


a tone that is appropriate , relevant , consistent , and effective . You need


to use elements such as colors , shapes , textures , patterns , images , etc . ,


  • to create mood , emotion , expression , and attitude .



Know your message: You need


to know what you are trying


to say


with your humor


and why it matters . You need


to define your main message


and your key points . You need


to filter out any unnecessary or irrelevant information


and focus on what is essential . You need


to use elements such as words , symbols , icons , logos , slogans , headlines , captions , etc . ,


Conclusion




Graphic design is a powerful tool that can help you communicate your message, idea, or concept in various ways. Graphic design can help you sell things, explain things, make things look better, and make people laugh. To use graphic design effectively, you need to consider aspects such as your audience, your product, your medium, your content, your structure, your visuals, your style, your layout, your typography, and your tone. You also need to learn from the examples of successful graphic designers, such as Michael Bierut, who has demonstrated how to use graphic design to achieve different goals and purposes.


If you are interested in learning more about graphic design and how to use it to create impactful and memorable visuals, you should check out the book How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World by Michael Bierut. This book is a career retrospective that showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects and reveals his philosophy of graphic design. It is a source of inspiration and insight for anyone who wants to use graphic design to communicate effectively and creatively. 6c859133af


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