Graphic design is defined as "the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect." (dictionary.reference.com). At Parkhurst Creative Design we define graphic design as beauty with a purpose. Our objective for graphic design is to create attractive imagery that is compelling. The opinion of what beauty is though is sometimes not consistent from one person to another but the effectiveness of design elements have been revealed through time. These elements have become the fundamentals of design in the marketing world and are injected into every piece created at Parkhurst.
With each new design piece (i.e. logo design, print piece, website design) there are new fundamental elements that are used to be compelling and effective. And though these elements may be very different from one artwork to another the result may often be the same. To give you an example, if you were the owner of a new coffee shop in Austin, TX selling hot beverages your logo would need to be simple and unique enough to both be memorable and attention grabbing. So you would want to use as few shapes and colors as possible to creatively communicate what your store sells in an unexpected way. Now when it comes to your flyer design new fundamental elements will be used but branding your store will still need to happen in the same way; with a art piece that is memorable and attention grabbing. While you will still want to avoid being too complex a flyer will have more of a memorable effect with more shapes and images of your product. So while your logo will provide an icon that will stand in for what your business is your flyer will communicate more details about what your business does (i.e. serve hot drinks in funky mugs, offer unique spices in the drinks, etc.).
Your website design is a whole other beast. And it's because just like your car uses some of the world's greatest inventions (the light bulb, the combustion engine, the wheel, etc.) all in one machine your website uses a multitude of designs within the site's design as well as a multitude of new marketing elements. So when it comes to creating an effective and compelling design for a website the concept also has to consider the already designed logo, and existing print materials. The site design should function harmoniously with the logo design in a way that enhances the branded icon. And while it does this, it also needs to tell its own story. It needs to offer its own benefits as a marketing tool. It needs to also be memorable and attention grabbing.
On a quick side note, all design elements are not limited to being memorable and attention grabbing and in fact some design elements are intended to be subtle and noticed by a select few, perhaps for the very purpose of stirring up conversation when a unique individual does notice it and shares it with their friends. Other purposes of design elements can be to evoke a specific emotion, like hunger or excitement. Some will need to create a sense of trust and dependability while others will want to envelop a sense of freedom and light heartedness. I would imagine if you were starting a coffee shop you would want to create marketing pieces that induced a sense of community and emotional warmth. Many times a great plethora of these elements will need to be included simultaneously. But it all depends on the individual business the design is for.
As we talked about in the above section "Graphic Design" a logo will include elements that will need to evoke some kind of response from the target audience it is attended to attract. To do this the team at Parkhurst Creative Design considers the suggestive patterns seen in marketing. For example, sharp angles and intense colors will stir up aggression, and feelings of hunger while bold type and deep blues can ingrain a sense of trustworthiness and dependability. Yellow and thin flowing shapes emulate senses of free spiritedness. The list can go on forever. The fun part is putting together the various different combinations in a very unique and creative way that, in the end result, produces a logo design that captures the attention of a particular audience and draws them in with the emotions desired, ultimately communicating what the business has to offer them.
As we talked about earlier there is some ambiguity as to what is beautiful but the fundamentals of design helps utilizes what's proven to function as a marketing piece into a creative piece of art. Your logo doesn't have to contain all of the fundamental elements to succeed as a logo. Often times bringing a scientific method to a very artistic design produces something that is lesser than the two individually. And artistic flare is essential in every unique logo. For more of our portfolio pieces you can check out AustinGraphicDesign.net.