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What Is Communication Design?

Natalie Ediger, September 14, 2018· Cleverclip

We at Cleverclip are confronted daily with words like illustration, desktop publishing, storytelling or communication design. For us, all this is our daily bread and butter. But especially when you’re so close, it’s good to be able to deal with certain terms in more detail. On the agenda today: communication design – and what is that actually?

Communication design is about conceiving, designing and disseminating classic print media such as magazines, books and posters, electronic media such as websites and apps, but also opinions, knowledge and products.

Graphic design or communication design?

The terms communication design and graphic design are often used as synonyms. Strictly speaking, however, we can say that communication design is basically an umbrella term that includes graphic design. If we only design the form, then we speak of graphic design. If, on the other hand, we design the information at the same time – then it is communication design. How is the information communicated on the market? How does the contact to the potential consumer or buyer look like?

With communication design, perception first wants to be achieved, and then a certain effect. That’s why you should ask yourself such questions at the beginning. What kind of reaction do I want to trigger? Be it with a poster, a website or a product. In order to find an answer and to be able to consider how this reaction can take place, the question of the target group follows. With whom would I like to achieve attention and this effect?

And how does communication design work correctly?

To really get the right insights and not see the target group as a theoretical sample, creating a persona is very helpful. This archetype gives the whole a face, a name, feelings and emotions. This helps to achieve identification with this person and to really decide on the type and content of the message to be conveyed, which will reach the future target group.

Communication design is about thinking about what is the right way to convey the message. A provocative text with a pinch of sarcasm – or perhaps clear facts and figures? Bright colours with futuristic shapes or rather clear lines and a limited colour palette. Text sizes, layout and composition are also aspects to be considered. When dealing with all these questions, it is important to always keep in mind who is being communicated for – and why.

To come back to the title of this article. What is communication design? It is the conception, realisation, production and distribution of a message, a product, an opinion, knowledge or new insights… you see, the list is long. But that’s exactly what fascinates us about Cleverclip.