Communication vs. Design and Vice Versa

March 17, 2017

Communication is the exchange of thoughts and feelings through common codes between two or more speakers. This can be achieved through spoken or written language, sign language, and also through images, illustrations, and designs.

So, let's think about the last job we made that didn't please our boss or client.

Whose fault was it? What exactly was the problem?

Nowadays, there are so many different ways to communicate. Here are some:
  • Email—the most formal option. This is the most effective way to communicate a message clearly and thoroughly. However, in design, sometimes it's hard to describe images and graphics with mere words. This option is usually not the client's favorite.

  • Cellphones—the most practical option. Texting and instant messaging are the fastest ways to communicate instructions or ideas because you can use different audiovisual tools to make yourself clear. Nevertheless, this could be a double-edged sword; giving your cellphone number to a client might have them texting you at 11 pm or other odd times.

  • Voice call—the fastest option. This is the most immediate method to get information or ask for an answer, but it's also really dangerous: "I didn't understand it that way" or "that's not what I meant" become the common feedback when presenting your design.

  • Memos—highway to misinterpretation. When we receive post-its or hand-made corrections over our sketches, we might get confused between illegible writing, untraceable arrows, and smudges; it can make you feel like you're playing a board game.

  • These are just a few different ways to communicate with your boss or client to understand what they want.

    Now comes the tricky part for us designers: Show our work.

    Even more than words, every illustration, image, or design transmits a message whose meaning changes based on the perspective of the viewer; an image brings a greater amount of intellectual, psychological, and emotional references than any word can.

    That's why for us at Imago Consult is very important to have clients understand not only with words, but also with our designs, the importance of what we do for them and their products. A good design doesn't always fit the client's demands, it's just the option that works well and transmits the message and emotion that was intended from the beginning. The goal of a design is to magnify a product's idea and make messages more attractive for the audience.

    We take the creative process very seriously. We set meetings where we study the information about upcoming projects; we ask about its story, the main characteristics of the brand, person, or other elements. From there, we brainstorm ideas, we study the commercial aspect, and we finish with a project aimed to create a one-of-a-kind final product.

    This approach, although methodological, helps our clients trust us; they are willing to hear and revise all the options we present.

    As you can see, design and communication go hand by hand. For us at Imago Consult, it's essential to have an excellent relationship with the people of each project we work on.

    Like once said, though in another context, design and communication "go the same way and vice versa".