Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Consider your target audience
Your target audience:
“A distinct group of people who will make Google love you.”
A crucial stage in the graphic designing process is identifying and understanding the target audience to whom the design is being made or marketed. If you, as a designer, have a new customer, the first thing to do is to understand that customer using a target audience assessment. Your objective is to create a clear design product that speaks the client’s language and answers their needs and their users’ needs.
Defining your target audience will depend on your niche if you are working as a freelance designer. With thousands of designers in the market, it’s important to distinguish yourself to potential clients by focusing on a certain area of expertise.
This highlighted specialisation will make you shine when contacting potential clients.
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What is a target audience?
A target audience is a particular group of people to which a business markets a product or service in various ways. Recognising your target audience is vital to delivering the right message or solution. This definition is correct for all kinds of professions, and that includes the creative and visual areas. After all, if you distinguish who your customer is and how to reach them, you will have a better chance of producing an effective creative design.
It may appear that designers work intuitively, using brief information about the client, product, the brand’s culture, and the client’s user audience. We recognise the process is not like that. Intuition is important, but the most effective skill a graphic designer can deliver is the ability “to translate a verbal idea into a powerful visual presentation” (Ashley Abramson).
And designers will only achieve this objective if they effectively add client identification to their other technology and communication talents. In a practical sense, designers must tie the graphic designer to the client in order to comprehend their requirements and design accordingly.
Graphic designer's skills to connect to target audience
The graphic designer needs several artistic and technical abilities to create the final product.
Adobe Creative Suite
Particular with Details
Social Media Channels
Packaging in Branding Process
To connect to the audience, all those talents and abilities should work together as key parts of the design product. Graphic design has a big role in the current competitive business environment. Businesses require the services of graphic designers to create inspiring marketing materials.
Graphic designers create pieces that look good and work well on websites to clearly communicate a company’s message or information. According to the experienced UI/UX designer Michael Abehsera, many people believe that designers are like “unicorns, gifted in some way”, able to create well-rounded creative and functional visual communication instantly. On the contrary, years of hard work, experimentation and failure are required to develop the ability to match colours and shapes to produce purposeful, appealing images.
Utilising what Michael refers to as “the rebound feature” is a clever way to maximise your efficiency and productivity. When you explore the tips and tricks used by the best designers in the world, you are mining creative inspiration that you can combine in new ways to create fresh, innovative forms. I highly suggest reading his article; if you’re still not convinced, consider what Steve Jobs famously said in 1996: “Picasso had a saying — ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ — and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
Effective design for a target audience
To ensure that the final product accurately reflects the client’s culture and intended message, it is essential that the designer have a firm grasp of who they are designing for.
When a graphic designer gets to know the heart of a brand and uses that knowledge to combine new and old visual and audio signals, they have the power to build a strong connection with their target audience.
A cohesive design with the brand, content and clear message makes the final user satisfied and pleased. Customer-centred marketing is vital. For instance, colours, types, graphics, layout, and images are key when trying to understand a target audience.
Below is an example of a highly effective Target Assessment Method. By asking questions, designers may gauge interest and learn more about the target audience. Use this approach warmly and subtly to win over your listeners’ trust and respect. The results are fantastic.
The Target Audience Assessment
Part 1: Make sure the design resonates with the client’s target audience and is consistent with the brand’s concepts.
- What is the client’s industry?
- Who are the client’s main customers?
- What do the client’s customers do for a living?
- What is their income level?
- What is their typical age?
- What is their gender?
- What is their education level?
- Do they have children?
Part 2: With this knowledge, the graphic designer can better communicate with the intended consumers and make informed design decisions.
- Is there an established brand?
- Is it a brand redesign?
- What are the main elements of the brand? Main message points as well as colours, font styles, images, graphic elements, etc.
- Is the design for digital or print?
- Is it still design or a motion design?
- What are the capabilities of the intended media?
- Where will the audience view the design?
- Will the design be posted on social media?
- Will the design need to adhere to a minimal level of accessibility?
The design process based on the assessment responses
As the designer provides responses and analyses the data, he or she will eventually arrive at the best concept to follow. Preferences for colours, shapes, composition, and details will be determined, and the guidelines for the design will be settled upon in agreement with the client.
Interviewing the customer saved time, connected the graphic designer to the customer, and created a positive environment to conceptualise the design product.
The audience is key. The graphic design elements will need to appeal to prospective consumers’ needs when they engage with the design. All those components give the graphic designer clues about what they should emphasise and how they should present each visual element.
The audience is the most important factor!
When a graphic designer has a deeper understanding of their audience, they are better able to collaborate with their clients to create a unique design that effectively conveys their message to the target demographic.
Graphic designers might use the responses to determine how certain design choices will affect their target audience. Think about the visual components and their impact on the audience to elicit the desired responses.
The message must resonate with the receiver, while the emotional and behavioural implications of the visual elements should be made clear. The graphic designer’s understanding of the target demographic is crucial to determining the most effective organizational framework for the desired distribution medium.
Your success as a graphic designer depends on your ability to work closely with your clients. The feedback of the intended audience is essential to the success of this cooperative effort. They are the intended users, after all.
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