What makes a great graphic? Honestly, there are a thousand and one different answers to that question. It can depend on many things including what the graphic is for, who the graphic is for, where the graphic is for, when the graphic…you get the idea.
For the purpose of the post, we will have a look at what the graphic is for.
Technically speaking, reproduction of graphics is at quite an advanced level. Think about it; graphics can be created and placed onto just about any surface or platform we can get our hands on. A couple of great examples of tried and tested platforms for printed graphics are magazines and billboards. Both of these platforms have the ability to be seen at any time and by anyone. Information can be presented and then examined selectively at the reader’s leisure which allows for a very high level of creativity in the graphic. A key point with these platforms, however, is realising that the media may not necessarily have the viewers’ full attention. How often do people go out purely to check out a billboard? Exactly! Billboard images are a great example of trying to create graphics that instantly attract the attention of passers-by who probably don’t care that it is there.
Magazines differ as they generally attract the attention of people who hold an active interest in their content. Needless to say, every item within the magazine, from articles to adverts, will be geared towards the active interest of these interested people and therefore the graphics should follow suit. As with billboards the graphics should be striking, after all they will be competing against every other graphic in the publication. The big problem is you’ll never know what else will be in the publication and this is where the creativity comes into play. Creative, striking graphics will attract readers; simple!
There is no magic formula to creating a graphic that is exactly what you need. There will be a number of external influences that will affect what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do but considering what your graphic is for in the first place is a great start and a great platform to build off. It may take a while to put together, it may come to you in a dream in the middle of the night or it might even just accidentally come together! Whatever happens, considering all possible factors is the only sure-fire way to guarantee the creation of something that you want and more importantly, your intended target public want.
And if you’re still stuck at the end? You could always just offer the free beer?
Austen Moss writes on behalf of Colour Graphics