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Design Communication: Why Message and Package can Make or Break a Design

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Design is a form of communication. Designer’s job is to convey the message to the end consumer in smooth fashion without overdoing anything. Although, it might sound easy to read but at times communicating the right message is a daunting task. Communication will fail if design is presented without a message or a message is published without a complimenting design. No matter what you do, at the end of the day you will have to include the spruced up forms of both mediums in order to keep the communication crystal clear.

Importance of Message and the Package

Whatever be the end result, if it isn’t clear then there is no point in presenting the same. The effort will be a waste. Usually designers design products for their aesthetic looks. They put in a lot of effort to streamline the product with the ever growing trend in the design industry. But, if at the end of the day nobody understands the core meaning and purpose of the product then the whole effort is total waste. No matter how hard the designer has tried, the end result will sunset moments after its birth.

This is when it becomes important for the designer to understand the reason behind this failure. If we keep aside the design related reasons (which aren’t the center of discussion for this article) then we will notice that the overall packaging of the design and the message that the design presents is an important contributor for the success of that design.

A designer can come up with a brilliant design but it will look very empty if it isn’t communicating the required message. Take an example of a new blog design for a technology blog. A choice that the designer will have is to design a very fancy looking theme for the technology blog which then will not give the blog any different meaning when compared to the same fancy theme being applied on a blog like Smashing Magazine. What I mean is that a fancy design for a technology blog won’t garner enough appreciation. Fancy theme just doesn’t go hand in hand with a technology blog though it can work wonders with a design blog. Get the idea?

A scintillating design package with a confusing message can be the reason for the design fall out. Although the same applies vice-versa too but at times a well formulated message without a effective design can avoid a real fallout. Take the example of some-time-back-Mecca of blogs – TechCrunch. Although the tech blog features a new theme of late yet the blog reached its peak with an old design which wasn’t anything close to attractive. The over-the-top quality of its content and its make or break attitude pushed TechCrunch to its heights.

Which brings us to the Question – Is Message More Important than the Package itself?

If content is king then packaging is no less than the queen of Internet.

We have to agree to the fact that without formatted content any design will be a failure. Like, we can take an example of this song that I am listening to on YouTube. Well, don’t worry, I won’t be sharing the lyrics of this song as this isn’t any sad story that I am writing. Rather, I want you to read between the lines. I am listening to a song on YouTube. Caught me? I am on a video surfing website and what I am doing is listen to a song instead of watching the entire video.

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The point is that although YouTube is a video sharing website still it is being used over and over to upload songs just because people love to hear those. This strongly propels the fact that content, if presented, without the packaging can survive the test if the quality of content isn’t compromised.

But, this does not mean that the packaging won’t expedite the chances of the content touching various heights. A well planned packaging that compliments the content will make sure that the cover of the book reaches the end audience. The content, due to its over-the-top quality, will anyways be appreciated by the same end client.

But – Packaging is Important too!

Let me extend the above paragraph for this section. The message might be the most important thing to consider but this does not mean that the overall package for that message holds no meaning. Although there is no possible way to package every message during design communication yet at the end of the day it is the end designer who chooses the best possible package.

Some pointers must be considered if you want the packaging to rock everyone off their feet:

  • The Message must compliment the package as it is impossible for the package to survive in the absence of a riveting message.
  • The overall package should click to the audience. Look, something that is worth the shot will be appreciated by the audience but for that to happen one needs to make sure that the package is worth every second of the client’s time. Don’t fool anyone!
  • The medium that will be used for the delivery of this package must be in sync with the package. Something which is out of the scope of this medium will never click for the final audience.

See, you can enjoy an audio in YouTube without worrying about the video until you (or someone else) wants to enjoy that video. If you are looking for the audio/video version of that song then you will anyhow have to make sure that the packaging of that song (part of which is the video itself) compliments the song. Was I clear?

Bottom Line

Well, I might have given an upper hand to Message and kept Packaging at a step lower than message but the effective packaging of a message is something that gives a kick to the message’s quality. It is about the overall presentation of your product and not just a part of it which is going to elevate your chances of success.

There is nothing like a perfect package if it doesn’t come bundled with a proper message. Also, a package can make or break a message so think before you go live.

Salman Siddiqui

Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream. Get in touch at @salmanhere.

Posts by Salman Siddiqui

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