• Writer for DDI on Medium

How To Get The Most Value Out Of Your Designs

Updated: Nov 11


If you’re unfamiliar with the expression “bestseller”, you’re probably amongst the 23% of people living in Trinidad and Tobago who dislike reading. Luckily, the term bestseller isn’t only limited to books. In fact, it’s used to advertise the popularity of anything being sold, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through the use of subliminal messages.

It is scientifically proven that subliminal cues has the power to engage people on a subconscious level, and designers have been using that psychology for years to encourage buyers to make specific decisions that would create bestsellers. So, while we might avoid certain things like the plague, we’ve all encountered the effects of advertising in various ways.

Advertising In Nature

In Brazil, there is a vibrantly colored bird called The Blue Manakin. It’s about 12 MMS in height, and it’s famously known for developing a precise way to woo a potential mate by doing a very conspicuous, well-rehearsed dance, with three other guys who aren’t really invited to the climax of the show. During rehearsals, a young male would stand in place of the female until the dance was perfectly synchronized and approved by the leading male. Once all is well, a stunning display for affection is put on for the female’s approval for mating to begin.


Advertising By People

People advertise who they are all the time. It’s seen in their actions, the things they say, and the clothes they wear.

When Megan Markle married Prince Harry, everything about her former life changed. Being a successful American actress, Megan was used to giving out autographs but soon stopped after becoming The Duchess of Sussex. She closed down her lifestyle blog and ditched a lot of her old clothing such as, wearing dresses that are too revealing or too short, and not wearing pantyhose to be identified as a member of the royal family. So it’s pretty safe to say that advertising is everywhere and by virtue of the examples given, we can quickly learn some very specific things about it that can definitely improve the value of what we design. Like,

  • Targeting: Be knowledgeable of the audience you engage

  • Branding: Understand where you’re considered most valuable. It’s easy to make the mistake of designing things that aren’t really speaking to what you’re all about.

  • Color: Don’t be afraid of color; it can sometimes be enough to just grab the attention of the people you’re targeting.

  • Test: Have you ever heard the saying ‘talk is cheap’? People will promise to buy anything until they actually have to. So, test the theories or ideas you have, don’t poll them.

  • Concretize: Be certain that anything you do is in alignment with your brand, so you’re not confusing the people you’re targeting.

  • Loyalty: Remain committed to the act of symbolically representing the things that matter the most in spite of the conditions around you.

  • Be Brave: Even the best design is worthless if no one sees it. Remember, you can always go back to the drawing board and tweak things as you learn but you’ll learn nothing if you don’t put your design out there. Now, I know you’re thinking that’s some valuable information I’ve just shared with you, but, I promise, the best part is yet to come because all the things I just listed, only play supporting roles in a much bigger picture.


What Are You Transmitting?

This is not a question to be answered superficially if you want a successful experience out of  the designs you use to get clients. Let’s backtrack to The Blue Manakin, what was he advertising to the female? Well, since mating was on his mind, he had to be advertising his genes, showing off how healthy he was because good quality genetics, as well as your health, are vital in choosing a potential partner in the animal kingdom.

With Megan Markle, abiding by the guidelines of her new title is necessary to convey reverence to the crown, her new family, her husband’s position as well as her own, to be seen as an official member of the royal family, and by extension respected by the public.

But things like genetics, health, and care are all invisible messages without cues, like the execution of a very detailed dance number from a bird with brightly colored feathers, or waiting for my husband to enter the room before I do or the right dress length to make them visible. And because of this, before you design anything to get clients, you want to first understand the invisible things you’re trying to communicate. Figuring that out will help you determine symbolically, what you need to be focused on to get the most value out of your designs.

Here’s The Curve Ball

The problem most people encounter when doing this is they get stuck listing things people expect, and come off trite like expressing “how much they stand for customer service”, “that they really care”, or “how transparent they are.” These things are a given and unimaginative and therefore shouldn’t be used to seduce anyone to work with you.

Once we get here, some will default to plagiarism, on account of any number of reasons, ranging from needing to make money now to not knowing any better, which is completely unnecessary when you take the time to truly understand what you’re offering. If you will like to begin acquiring some clarity on these things, click the link and you can start finding your voice for simple advertising.




I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB


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