Picture this: you’re staring at a logo design and something just isn’t working but you can’t put your finger on it or articulate it. Despite your better judgment and that little voice inside begging you not to, you start to say “can we…make it pop?”

Whether you’re client-side or agency-side, a suit or a creative, understanding what makes good design and how to talk about it is crucial—after all, visuals are a powerful tool for communication, and can make or break a concept.

So let’s take the guess work out of it. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Speak the lingo. Familiarise yourself with industry-specific terminology to ensure that you are speaking the same language as your colleagues and clients. For example, using terms like “composition”, “color palette” and “typography”, and understanding the difference between UI (user-interface) and UX (user-experience).
  2. Be clear and specific. When referring to specific parts of a visual, be clear and specific about what you’re talking about. Don’t talk in abstract language that leaves room for interpretation — e.g., instead of “Make it pop”, say, “make it more high contrast”, “Make that element larger”, or “change it to a brighter colour”
  3. Learn the design principles. If there’s something wrong or right about a visual but you can’t quite put your finger on it, think about whether it’s related to one of the design principles — e.g., maybe the piece needs more balance, or more contrast. Here is an overview of the principles for you to save:

Design infogrpahic

  1. Practice in your day to day life. Look around at your surroundings and when something catches your eye, ask yourself why. Do you like the colour? The shape? The balance? The simplicity?
  2. Show, don’t tell. Sometimes it’s just easier to show visuals to demonstrate your points, rather than trying talking about them. Fire up Pinterest and find some examples of visuals you do like, and explain what you like about them.
  3. Communicate a mood. If all else fails, try explaining the mood you’re after and include as much detail as possible, e.g., “I want the logo to feel like summer, energised, happy and light”

Talking about visuals effectively requires a combination of clarity, specificity, and context. By following these tips, you’ll be able to communicate your message more effectively and leave the guess work at the door.

Want a more in-depth lesson? We offer interactive Visual Language & Storytelling workshops. You can find more information and inquire about a bespoke session for you or your team here.

   brand experience, digital, content marketing, social media
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