Designing something that you are inspired by is really fun and exciting. Creating a design for something that you are not the least bit passionate about is difficult. You cannot design for only clients that inspire you. Or you can, but you won’t make much money. You need to be able to take a product or brand that does absolutely nothing for you and bring it to life so that you have a happy customer.
The Ad below is for Sailboat Hardware. I currently use my skills designing ads and maintaining the website for a sailboat hardware manufacturer. Can I sail a boat? I can crash a boat really well into a dock. Sailing is not something I enjoy doing. So I’m not inspired to design for sailors. When you have nothing in common with the age 50+ men that you are marketing to it can be difficult. Especially true when you realize that aesthetics don’t appear to mean that much to them. Still, you’ve been hired to sell them a product.
A large help is if you have been provided images. What stories do the images tell? What types of colors are used in those images? What idea are you trying to bring across to your target market?
Has the client given you any idea of what they are looking for? If they give you little direction it can be difficult to know what they want. Usually though, they know what they do not want. Ask them to give you adjectives to describe what they want or definitely do not want. If the client is able to tell you exactly what they want, do your best to give them what they’re asking for. Where do you go from here?
You’re still thinking, “I’m not inspired by the product.” That may be true; however once you have the direction of what the client is looking for it will get a little easier. Think about your target market and the colors and other aesthetic that will attract their attention. Also think about what the target market is aspiring to be. The 50+ men that I market to, do not necessarily only want to be seen as just that, 50+ year old men. They want to be seen as vibrant, exciting and fun individuals, seeking adventure aboard their yachts. So, give them that. Produce a design that reflects something the end user will feel reflects his or her lifestyle.
The Ad pictured uses quotes from happy customers who have already purchased the product. The target market is being encouraged to choose a product that has been tried and tested by people they respect. The bottom of the Ad encourages the customer to check out videos on YouTube. They are being treated as customers that are social-media savvy and who “know what’s going on.”
The takeaway is to think about the people who will be seeing the Ad. Make it for them. The Ad should match the product, but don’t focus on the product too much. Think about who will be using the product and how they see themselves.
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