Winning by Design

This is a guest blog by graphic designer Denis Hanlon

Like so many others I was entertained and enthralled by the spectacle and magnificence of the 2012 London Olympic Games. It seemed that the very best of human endeavour was on display each day, whether it was a runner leaving the rest of the field behind, a jumper managing to clear the bar or someone coming back from injury and against all the odds win a medal!

Apart from the sheer pleasure of watching this great event, where the very best of the very best competed against one another, to either go faster, jump higher or be stronger than one another, I couldn’t help being fascinated by the post event interviews, especially when it was the new “gold medal” Olympic champion saying how they felt, straight after the event.

Almost without exception, each of these “winning” athletes talked about the years of hard work and training that had helped them get to their triumphant moment. They often spoke about the “planning” that had gone into their last four years, leading up to the Games. It became clear that their whole lives had been “designed” for the success they had achieved. They had won by design.

As a graphic designer I was very conscious of the role that design had played in those Olympics. I couldn’t watch the Games, without being blown away by the sheer innovation and beauty of the buildings that had been conceived not only to house the events but also the athletes. They were a wonderful blend of design, innovation and practical purpose.

What impressed everyone who viewed the Games was its organisation. In particular, the opening and closing ceremonies wowed all the spectators. So many visitors have said: ‘this is the best Olympics I’ve ever been to.’ A lot of thought and imagination lay behind that success. It didn’t happen by accident. It was designed.

All these examples show that good design counts. As a graphic designer for the last 20 years, I know only too well how true that is. Good design not only counts, it also pays.

When it comes to marketing your company, organisation or products, it is the well-crafted marketing material creatively designed, that will stand out from the crowd. Poor design can blur a reputation, but brilliant design can help to make it.

Your marketing material has to inspire, capture the imagination and grab the attention of your target audience. It must make the viewer think, elicit an emotion and response.

You must get your message across (immediately if possible!) and engage your reader. To achieve this takes great marketing planning, but equally it requires great marketing design. Then you and your products will have a real chance of success.

See your marketing endeavours as an opportunity for you, your company, your services and products to shine! When it comes to your marketing, put in your best performance, beat the competition and go for gold! Let good design take you there.

Denis Hanlon, September 2012

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