As brand design and development specialists, we are focused on providing creative, beautiful and responsive solutions to your design and branding needs. Having said that, we also understand the underlying importance of what great content can do to a beautiful design...

It's critical to create brand awareness and customer engagement through stunning, eye-catching and relevant visuals, whether it's digital or offline, or a website or graphics. However, the real "pull" for a customer is the content - this is where you sell your products, as you're giving them evidence that not only are you an aesthetically pleasing brand, but you also know what you're talking about.

Here are our top 5 tips to balance your creative and content sides:

1. Content works better when it's put into an aesthetically appealing design

People's eyes are drawn to strong design, colour and high quality graphics – it's natural that we are attracted to beautiful things. If you want a website visitor / brochure reader to read that great content which will sell your product / business, then you must make the format it's on visually appealing - whether that's standing out from the zillion other websites or striking them upon first glance from a newsstand.

2. A strong design doesn't mean your content should be bland

Keep your customer engaged with smooth, interesting, attention-keeping language. The design is an "attention-grabber"and the content is the "attention-keeper". Whether you have in-house facilities capable of creating fantastic text or you have to outsource, make sure it's done correctly.

3. Know what the content will be, before looking for a design

Clients can get caught up in the excitement of rebranding or getting graphics designed and often forget, or don't know how, to focus and write their content. A creative agency cannot be solely responsible for creating your content and/or brand – instead, they can guide you through our Branding Process, which leads you through defining key messages and brand identity. If you're looking for graphics or a website, then know what your messages are and how you want them to look in the positioning of your graphics / layout.... and only then ensure your graphics fit with this idea.

4. Consider your key messages – do the content AND branding reflect them?

This is critical to your audience gaining a clear understanding of your brand messages. What do you want them to take away from your content and branding? Being very creative with deep brand messages in your branding is one thing, but then steering off the point in your content will disappoint. Ensure you've been through a consistent thought process when coming up with a design and the focus of the content on each page. Never "wing it" when it comes to either element, but consider both separately, then put them together and check that they still make sense.

5. Never try to compromise

A lot of the time, deadlines and clients can put pressure on you to rush the job and ultimately compromise either the creative or content elements of your work. Never, ever compromise one for the other. Creating the balance we are talking about takes a lot of strategic effort and time, so plan ahead what content is needed and where and how this will affect your design plans. We'd also suggest that your in-house / outsourced Content Creator handles every single word that is written – don't just put some text in because you "need to get something in there".

We've already repeated this message plenty of times already, but we really do believe that content and creativity are elements which should work in conjunction with each other – find a balance, not a compromise.

Article by Johnny Woods of Echo Graphics.

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