PSA: Messaging and functionality determine design—not the other way around.
Design is much more than just "how something looks". It's actually about how something *works*. It's about transforming information into visually-appealing, clear, and directive imagery that your brain can process at-a-glance.
When I design a website or media kit or pricing guide, we don't start with the pretty graphics. We lay out in the plainest of Google Docs the copy, calls to action, and goals of the design. Once we're satisfied with the messaging and "directions" laid out, we then move on to the design phase where all of the information comes to life in a fabulous-yet-functional way.
Because our brains are hardwired for visual content—processing images 60,000 times faster than text and remembering visuals over text with much more ease and clarity.
The next time you need to DIY marketing materials, don't start in Canva. Start in your plain old word processor of choice and ask yourself these questions:
- What is the goal of this page?
- What messaging do I want to convey?
- What action do I want the user to take?
Once you've laid out this information in a way that is clear, concise, and actionable, put the pretty AROUND it.
Design will bolster your messaging and make it work the way you want it to.
How do you normally tackle your marketing materials? Do you start with messaging and functionality first? Or do you dive into design?
If it's the latter, I totally get it. That's the fun part! But let's flip our mindset around and understand that putting the FUN behind the functionality is what design is really all about.