10 Jan

Graphic Design – Interview with Cathy Meyer

Cathy Meyer - Graphic DesignCathy Meyer Graphic Design

Cathy Meyer is a Freelance Graphic Designer. She operates a Graphic Design Company located in New Hampshire. In this interview Cathy shares her insights into graphic content that can help to convey a message to your audience.

When it comes to content marketing content can take on many different formats and the graphical content of your materials is vital to ensuring high-impact content.

Enjoy!

Q: Content marketing can always benefit by having delightful graphics. The message delivery is enhanced. What are your thoughts on how to create delightful graphics?

A: For me, I begin with the people behind a business. When I can have a conversation with those people and really discover and understand “who” that business is at heart, what drives the business, and so on, I can utilize that information to translate it visually.

Graphics have to make a connection with the audience. If the owner understands “who” their business is and how they connect to their audience and can describe that, I can then run with it visually.

Q: How do you learn about the target audience of your clients?

A: I learn through these conversations, through online research of their field and their competitors and through audience members. I also try to envision myself as a new customer and ask lots of questions. What are my initial impressions of their messaging? Would I buy their product or utilize their service? If so, then why? If not, then why? What message is being sent out there right now? Is it the right message? What are the visuals communicating and how can we work together to ensure that the right message is being put out there?

Q: Can you design a theme that works with and integrates multiple content marketing formats? For example, if a client wanted graphics for a website, a graphic for a white paper and graphics for a newsletter how would you make sure that they had their own individual identity which also meshed with a common branding theme.

A: The brand has to come through consistently. But to distinguish a variety of formats, again I look at who the viewer is. A website might have certain audiences that run a wide range, but a newsletter might specifically target a certain segment of that broader audience, so I work to work in harmonious elements that do tie into the brand, but that are slightly differentiated to speak to the smaller targeted audience. Understanding who the visuals are meant for is key. That is why content marketing is so fantastic. You work to understand who wants what kinds of information and then share that with specific groups.

Q: Infographics are becoming a very popular way to convey a message. It is content marketing using visual storytelling. What is the essence of a great infographic?

A: It is essential to have clarity and flow. When a visual is cluttered it causes confusion in the viewers mind, which begins to shut off the thinking process, viewers begin to “tune out”. The viewer’s eye can only absorb so much information at once. They need to be able to quickly understand what information is being presented and how that benefits or informs them. Then they need to be able to follow that information for the details in a way that is logical and flows sequentially.

Creating an effective infographic requires both artistic sense and a clear vision of what to tell the audience. How do you work with a client to define how to create the message of the infographic?

Back to those conversations that I like to have! I ask a lot of questions. I begin by envisioning that I know nothing about what they want to convey, and then go from there. What are the key points they want to make? What information must go out there? What does the viewer want to know? What information is critical to get the viewer to act and seek out a business? What information will not make an impact either way? Most times clients have a vast amount of detailed information about their product – down to the most minute details – I want to boil this down to its essence.

But from a buyer’s perspective, there is certain information that is important to them and certain information that isn’t necessary in order for them to act and purchase that product.

People associated with a business are very entrenched in their business and all of the details about it and so much of it is important to them, as it all should be! But from a prospective buyer’s perspective, there are really only certain points that they want to know, that are important to them; at least at first – they might dig deeper after initial “contact” with a business, but at first there are priorities that will nudge them to either learn more about that product or purchase it. So it is a matter of striking a balance between the vast amount of information that businesses hold about themselves and what the audience wants to know and understand in order to act. Simplicity is great.

Q: Do you make your graphics search engine friendly?

A: This is a great question. This is such an important topic for SEO. I have always utilized accessibility features when naming graphics with “alternate” descriptors (alt tags). But there are other things that we can do in naming images so that the search engines can “read” the image. File naming and using the alt tags and giving images titles all help with SEO.

Q: What are the essentials of an effective call-to-action graphic?

A: Visually it should be very clear as to what is going to happen when they click on it (ie- will they proceed to check out, or download a PDF – viewers don’t typically like surprises – so language is important), it should also stand out visually from the overall web page design, but it should not be glaring, blinking (gasp!) or annoying in any way. It should be placed strategically in relation to the content, so that a viewer will naturally click to learn more, buy, etc.

Q: To ensure that your client is totally satisfied what do they need to do to create a fabulous final result? Can you provide a bullet list?

A: Here it is . . .

  • #1 on my list: Communicate – openly
  • Know your business
  • Know your audience
  • Know your competitors
  • Be responsive and timely with providing feedback, information and content.

Cathy Meyer - CSM Designs

To learn more about the graphic design work of Cathy Meyer I invite you to visit their website. Click on this link to learn more about how high quality graphics can really help you to deliver your message to your audience.

About Gary Horsman

Read Gary's full bio.

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