As we approach Valentine’s day, here at nim design, we’ve been thinking about emotions and relationships.
We have two important relationships to think about; our relationship with clients, and our clients’ relationships with their stakeholders. Ensuring these connections grow and flourish is at the heart of our business.
1. Trusting client relationships
Building trusting long-term relationships with our clients is fundamental to our approach. We’re not interested in the consultant’s equivalent of a one-night-stand – we’re in it for the long term and there’s no doubt that the greater commitment we give our clients, the more efficient and fruitful that relationship is likely to be.
Some of our clients have been with us for more than a decade and what may have begun as a casual hook-up once a year for an Annual Review, has grown into a deeper connection with regular contact throughout the year. For some this might be a brand refresh or an infographic, for others it’s brochures and newsletters.
Our passion for design keeps these long-term relationships fresh and how we turn this passion into measurable ROI is what keeps our clients coming back for more. However, the real cement which holds our client relationships together is our honesty and integrity. Keeping channels of communication open and authentic has helped us build trusting relationships.
2. Emotional response to design
While these direct client relationships are built on personal contact, to strengthen our clients’ relationships with their stakeholders we need to evoke an emotional response through our visual design language.
Not-for-profits have been aiming to connect emotionally with audiences for a long time and now this trend has spread across all business sectors. To stand-out from the competition, brands have understood they need to engage with audiences in a deeper way. Fortunately, graphic design, with its many visual tools of fonts, colours and imagery, is the perfect way to convey a message and conjure an emotive reaction.
To understand how best to create this authentic connection between an organisation and its audience, our first step is listen and learn. Once we have acquired a deep knowledge of our client we can apply our creative skills to selecting the most effective fonts, colours and imagery to support them to deliver their key messages in a way which genuinely engages with audiences.
Most people are already conditioned (by marketeers and designer of course) to think, behave and react in a certain way to different visual approaches. They have absorbed a design ‘code’ which enables them to intuitively feel what kind of content it is. For example, a script font – so often seen on Valentine’s cards – implies softness while harder news is likely to be delivered with a bold type. Colours also illicit an emotional response; red can signal danger in some contexts but is a buying signal in others. Bright colours communicate an upbeat, cheerful tone while darker colours generally convey more serious messages.
As designers, our role is to employ – or subvert – these graphic codes to convey the messages our clients want to communicate and ultimately build a meaningful emotional connection with their audiences. But without strong relationships we can only touch the surface.
So building trust, integrity and good communication will always equal great relationships!
Take a look at what our clients have to say about us.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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