The Difference Between A Brand Strategist And A Graphic Designer
Doing what I do, I often get asked the “So, are you a Graphic Designer?” question. To be honest it’s a term I have long parted with but it is still commonly used in the public domain. It’s not that the label of Graphic Designer is exactly wrong but I like to think that I do so much more than that. So I would like to really clear this up once and for all and explain how a Brand Strategist differs from a Graphic Designer.
1. A Graphic Designer works from a brief, a Brand Strategist creates it.
The biggest difference between a Graphic Designer and a Brand Strategist is the brief. Traditionally, a Graphic Designer will work from a brief given to them by the client, with basically a summary of the look and feel of the image they want. The Graphic Designer will tend to stick to the brief closely and create only within the borders of the brief. A Brand Strategist on the other hand creates the brief. When I am approached by a client, I like to sit down with them and create a brand strategy. This strategy looks at their tone of voice, fonts, colour scheme and many other aspects, which as a whole directly affect the way a brand or a piece of a brand is designed.
2. Graphic Designers create based on visual appeal.
While visual appeal is important, designing based solely on this can be detrimental. Every piece of branding and content needs to work within the bigger picture and needs strategy behind it - This is where the Brand Strategist comes in. The colours, wording, font, they all need to be on brand. At the end of the day, the way something looks can be subjective but how your target audience responds to it, that’s the important thing. A Brand Strategist will go beyond just making a brand look appealing and factor in the industry, market, service and the overall tone the business wants to portray. All these ingredients form the strategy in which the branding elements will be born.
So while Graphic Design is still a big part of what I do and who I am, I no longer want to be confined by that term. For me, creating the strategy behind a brand is just as rewarding and I hope it’s equally rewarding for my clients.