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Three Tips to Making More Effective Graphics

Ever felt like the graphics you make just don’t connect with people? You know they aren’t working, but you just aren’t sure why.

After working with hundreds of churches creating thousands of graphics, let me tell you…

You. Are. Not. Alone.

Without realizing it, many churches fall into the same overarching traps that keep their graphics from being effective. To help YOU avoid those same traps, I’ve put together a shortlist of three tips to point you in the right direction. 

Tip 1 – Always Know Your Target Audience

A ‘target audience’ is simply the people you most suspect will view the creative content you are creating. Knowing who you are creating your graphics for will help you better reach them. 

For example, a graphic that your student ministry kids LOVE will probably be disliked by those in the 65+ crowd. 

Knowing WHO it is you are creating your graphics for should always happen BEFORE you ever open up your designing tool of choice.

TIP 1 SUGGESTIONS:

  • Define your target audience for a graphic by their age range, likes, and dislikes.
  • Find out physical and digital places that this audience spends a lot of time at

 

Tip 2 – Have Instant Access to Your Target Audience

What good is knowing your target audience, if you don’t actually talk to people who represent that audience? 

One thing I’ve found about building our target audience profiles is that we always start with some elements of wrong perceptions of our audience. We might have misunderstood what they love when they actually hate that very thing!

The only way to know for sure you have the right data on your target audience is to be in direct contact with them. Find a group of 4-5 people who represent well the group you are targeting with your graphics. 

With this small group, you can work together with them to better understand what types of graphics will and won’t grab their attention. 

TIP 2 SUGGESTIONS:

  • Grab 4-5 people and make a “focus group” for every target audience you design for
  • Have your focus groups send you images they love and hate from this Pinterest Board

 

Tip 3 – Your Target Audience Probably Like Different Graphics Than You

If there’s only one tip you walk away from this blog with, I want it to be this one. Graphic design, like many things in our lives, isn’t always about you. In order to make effective graphics we always need to look outside ourselves.

At Church Media Squad, we work with hundreds of churches in all kinds of contexts. That’s why we have an internal ‘Squad Goal’ that we live by:

We Take Our Art Seriously. Not Ourselves.

All this goal means is that, as designers, we’re always wanting to make graphics that actually work for the church and community we are creating for that day. We don’t want to make something just because WE like it. Quality designers know that effective design sometimes means making something you don’t love.

Be in regular communication with your target audience focus group for this very reason. They will help you see with their eyes and not your own. When we make graphics, we are creating content to be consumed by others, not just ourselves.

TIP 3 SUGGESTIONS:

  • Use your focus group to hone your understanding of their design tastes. 
  • Start every design project with the question. “What will connect with the target audience the best?

 

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