Communications Program Manager
In a world of DIY and stock design websites, individuals often misinterpret design, design use and the importance of hiring a designer.
Design: People often say “just make it look pretty” or “just grab that from online” and they believe design is just about the look. However, it is much more. Steve Jobs once explained, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Design use: Design should be used in all of your collateral (i.e. presentations, letterhead, ads, emails, newsletters, proposals and reports). Good design will:
- Create good first impressions through the right color, fonts and style;
- Establish brand recognition through consistency;
- Develop a story about your brand through visuals and content; and
- Help consumers understand your product better.
The importance of hiring a designer: You may have a great concept, but a professional designer can take that concept and make it even better. Designers understand publishing software and design principles, which will help complete the task in a more efficient manner. When working with a professional designer, you determine your level of involvement in the process. I highly recommend at the minimum having a professional set up the design guidelines and templates to carry the theme forward. When working with a professional, here are some recommendations:
- Review their portfolio and find out the story behind the projects;
- Create a brief or project overview that clearly layouts expectations and timeline;
- Remember designers are visual thinkers and the creative process takes time, so be patient; and
- Finally, be proud when sharing the product you and the designer create.
Amy serves as the department’s Communications Program Manager, focusing on the department’s branding strategy and graphic design.