How Content and Design go Hand in Hand

June 26, 2015

For long, it has been a belief that content and design are two separate disciplines, that one does not have anything to do with the other. But it is not so. Content and design support each other, enhance each other, and are united by a single goal: to convey an idea and grab people’s attention.

It is easy to view content as the final component of your website-creation journey. First comes design, then coding, and then content. After all, isn’t it prudent to save the process of populating your website with words for the end? As it turns out, this is the least smart thing you could do as someone who’s looking to create that perfect website. Content cannot be saved for last. It has to work hand in hand with design right from the beginning. Here’s why.

When you write a piece of content, your main aim is to put a message across. An announcement, an advertisement, an awareness campaign – whatever it may be, your copy is sending out a thought. At the core, you are communicating with the reader. Now, you may have employed every trick up your sleeve in the content that you’ve created. But you must also consider the visual element. If the reader is looking at a message that is badly aligned, or poorly laid out on a webpage, he will immediately dismiss it. This renders your content invisible and useless, and drives people away from your website.

To make sure that your content and design fit together like pieces in a jigsaw, you need to make sure that the content writers and designers work together in tandem. Writers can help designers to keep pages simple, and make the brand message clear and concise. They can also help them avoid blocks of text where they’re unnecessary. Design, too, can return the favour by encouraging the writers to edit text to go with the current trend of maximizing white space – this way, the text is sharper and colours used stand out better, ensuring that the message comes out clearly.

While design can be created roughly around bad content, it is close to impossible to design an entire user interface and then bring in the services of the writer to fill in the empty spaces. This is why the two should go hand in hand. Many designers create wireframes with the standard ‘lorem ipsum’ text. But these types of dummy text often create unrealistic design, making the content writer’s job that much harder.

With videos being a popular way of communicating with the consumer today, content and design have to work together more often. A video requires the idea and concept, and most importantly, the copy, to get started. Tweaks will pop up during the design process, necessitating the need for content changes. This is perhaps the most important juncture at which content and design have to meet in order to create something spectacular, not to mention relevant.

A good website reflects the best of content and design. The time is nigh to recognise that the two disciplines go hand in hand in the process of creating a spectacular website. Ensure that the content on your website is visually appealing by using good colours and typography, and not just dropped into a hastily created template. This will reflect well on your website and ultimately, your brand as well.

What is in colour ??

August 11, 2014

Rosy” lips, “Blue” eyes, “Grey” skies, “Green” eyed dragon, “Purple” with rage.

What’s in a colour you ask? Well, A LOT!

A colour is not just relative to sight anymore; a colour could be a feeling, an emotion, a mood or a memory. Spinach, lettuce, Fenugreek are simply called “Greens” and you know they are fresh when the greens are greener!

We are living in a polychromatic world, where “pop” is not just a music genre and “nude” is not a state. Be it fashion, lifestyle, websites or graphics – we get to hear terms like pastel, pop, nude and neon (amongst the various others) ever so often!

Every hue and shade has a sensation attached to it; every tone has a mood that it portrays. In a time when the count of brands is beyond human count what makes us remember a few? Which brands stand out? What sets the leaders above the rest?

Mc Donalds, Coke, Pepsi, FedX, Xerox all have differentiated themselves through the colours on their logo. In fact 94 percent of the aerated drink drinkers’ associate red and white with coke! Most of the well-recognized brands “own” the logo colours, which prove to be a superb recognition cue. Depending upon the functionality that product serves, the brands bring out desired reactions through colours. The brand personality is also greatly affected by the colours associated with a brand. For example, Nickelodeon is a splat of orange with a white font. Orange is a happy colour, associated with fun and warmth. The target audience being children this induces a level of comfort and recognition when they are switching through channels and land on Nickelodeon. Another instance is the colour blue, have you ever wondered why “Facebook”, “Intel”, “Skype” all have blue colour logos? It’s simply because blue denotes intellect and communication. You could say that the connotation has now become generic with the colour because of the logos but the point remains that today if the colour blue would have to impact the audience it would be associated with intelligence, trust, efficiency, logic and communication.

Below I have mentioned some positive psychological properties of colours, (Taken from – since…you know…I don’t have astute knowledge about the workings of our brains) along with which brands could be associated with the colours (That’s me playing match the following…well because I know my brands):

Red: Physical
Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Brands: Coca cola, Virgin

BLUE: Intellectual.
Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Brands: Facebook, Intel, IBM, Skype, Tata, Reliance

YELLOW: Emotional
Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Brands: Yellow pages, Mc Donalds, Best Buy, Idea

GREEN: Balance
Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Brands: Starbucks, Animal Planet, Bharat Petroleum, Holiday Inn

VIOLET: Spiritual
Vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality, spiritual awareness, containment.
Brands: Yahoo, Hallmark, Cadbury

ORANGE: Energy
Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Brands: Nickelodeon, Fanta, JBL, Food Network

PINK: Romance
Physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality.
Brands: Barbie, Haier, Johnson-Johnson, Cosmopolitan

BLACK: Depth
Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Brands: Adidas, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, BBC, Lexus

WHITE: Purity
Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency, luxury
Brands: Apple, Versace (white is mostly used as the background for the logo element)

BROWN: Strength
Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.
Brands: UPS, Louis Vuitton, Gloria Jeans Coffee

So as for now that you’re in on the colourful world of colours, I’m going to go grab something to eat.

Hmm…what do I feel like eating?? Well I’m feeling red and yellow and fried all over!! So lets go to Mc.Donalds and grab something.

Hope you have an orange and yellow day with a few moments of red!

Are you building your brand the right way?

July 22, 2014

The GOAL of one’s life is to Live-It

Live-it because we just have one life

One life to spread smiles

One life, so live it Right

The goal is not to live forever

The goal is not to stand tall and not fall

The Goal is to live the role

See them grow old, Touch, feel and hold

Make them smile, prepare them to fight

The Goal is to be there. Even when you are not there

Because your life is not just your life

“Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”

I hope I don’t have to say that the above work was done for a Life Insurance brand. I still remember how excited I was while writing those lines, I was sure it will move people and I thought these words have power to strike a chord and build positive brand recall.

Unfortunately, the client thought that it’s of some other level and their audience will not be able to understand it.

Cutting the long story short- I was not worried about the rejection of manifesto but I was saddened by the kind of impression we as ‘Consumers’ have created on brands and scared that brands don’t understand that their CUSTOMERS are their BRAND.

While I am still talking to various brands trying to understand their view on how they see their customers, I will appreciate your thoughts and experiences if any on how brands see their customers.

Because ultimately, brands will make what they think their customers and worth of.