Best Change

Jun 7, 2020 | Living the Dream

I just delivered art on an annual report and a 72-page magazine. This is my 3rd time on both yearly publications. I have another repeating magazine scheduled to go into production on February 1. In all these cases, the font style sheets, page footers and numbers, margins, column sizes, and other graphic accouterments remain the same as their earlier editions.

There is usually an angel on my shoulder telling me to make it look different, that the client wants a new look even though nothing was mentioned. The truth is if there is nothing particularly wrong with the layouts, nothing should be changed. The look and feel should repeat.

“Look-and-Feel” is a term for a generalized perception of a given thing. Look-and-feel is among the elements supporting the brand identity and should remain consistent and continuous across all the channels of your media. Branding tuned look-and-feel, done right, bypasses your audience’s conscious awareness and speaks to the emotional center.

The goal for every graphic designer is to get the target audience to read the thing designed. A different look-and-feel every time does nothing to build readership. The designer may be bored by repeating the same page elements. The client may be bored by repeating the same look-and-feel. The reader seldom is.

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