Maximizing Visual Impact: The Strategic Advantages of Employing a Professional Graphic Designer

Guest Post by Evander Hansen, Adobe (and, as a HUGE fan of Adobe Express and proponent of hiring graphic designers, I wholeheartedly agreed to post this blog article!).

Photo via Pexels

In today’s fast-paced and visually driven market, the importance of strong visual representation cannot be overstated. Businesses that aim to stand out in a crowded marketplace increasingly rely on the specialized skills of professional graphic designers. These creative experts not only bring artistic flair but also a strategic understanding of how visuals can enhance brand identity and communicate company values to consumers. This article hosted by Sparkbark details several key advantages of employing a professional graphic designer that collectively boost a business’s potential.

Enhancing Brand Recognition

A professional graphic designer possesses the unique ability to create a visual identity that resonates with your target audience, fostering instant recognition. This is more than just about a logo; it’s about choosing the right color schemes, typography, and design motifs that embody the essence of the brand. For example, think of the immediate recognition that brands like Apple and Coca-Cola command. Their distinctive visual styles were carefully crafted by professionals, making their products recognizable at a glance worldwide. This level of brand consistency ensures that customers can easily identify your products or services in a sea of competitors, reinforcing brand loyalty.

Bolstering Credibility and Professionalism

First impressions are crucial in business, and a well-designed visual representation speaks volumes about the company’s professionalism. A graphic designer ensures that all visual touchpoints—whether digital ads, business cards, or product packaging—convey quality and credibility. This professional appearance builds trust among potential customers, suggesting a reputable company that values quality in all aspects of its operations. This trust is fundamental in persuading customers to engage with your business initially and over time.

Creating Visually Compelling Marketing Materials

In the digital age, where consumers are bombarded with information, the ability to catch an eye with visually appealing marketing materials is essential. Professional graphic designers excel in creating layouts and designs that are not only beautiful but also effective in conveying the intended message. Whether it’s an impactful brochure, a memorable business card, or a dynamic online ad campaign, designers use their creative skills to make materials that grab attention and provoke action, significantly increasing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Access to Specialized Design Tools and Software

Graphic design is an ever-evolving field that requires constant upskilling and access to advanced tools and software. Professional designers invest in the latest design technologies, which are often cost-prohibitive for many businesses to acquire and maintain. By hiring a professional, companies gain access to top-tier design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign without the direct investment in expensive software or training, ensuring that the quality of visual content remains high and on par with current trends.

Expertise in Design Principles and Aesthetics

A professional graphic designer is trained not only in how to use design software but also in fundamental design principles including balance, alignment, contrast, repetition, and proximity. This training allows them to create designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also optimized for user experiences and marketing effectiveness. A deep understanding of these principles ensures that every piece of designed material functions well in its intended context, whether it’s enhancing readability, conveying messages effectively, or driving customer engagement.

Experience in Crafting and Executing a Cohesive Visual Strategy

Perhaps one of the most valuable assets a professional designer brings to the table is their ability to see the big picture. Designers help businesses develop and implement a cohesive visual strategy that aligns with their branding and marketing goals. This strategy encompasses various media and platforms, ensuring consistency across all channels. Such consistency strengthens brand identity, enhances customer journey experiences, and builds a reliable brand image that customers can grow to recognize and trust.

Showcasing Your Designs with Adobe Express

Adobe Express is a versatile design tool that helps both novice and professional designers effectively showcase their creative projects. Here are four ways you can utilize Adobe Express to display and extend the reach of your final designs:

  • Cohesive Branding Materials: Adobe Express offers a range of customizable templates that can be used to create unified branding materials. This includes business cards, letterheads, and email signatures that carry your brand’s visual identity consistently across various mediums.
  • Promotional Materials: With Adobe Express, you can easily convert your designs into promotional materials such as flyers, posters, and brochures.
  • Merchandise Design: Adobe Express enables you to apply your designs to a wide range of merchandise, including t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags. This feature is particularly useful for creating custom merchandise for branding or promotional efforts.
  • Social Media Graphics: Tailoring your designs for different social media platforms is crucial in today’s digital age. Adobe Express helps create optimized graphics for platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Employing a professional graphic designer offers myriad benefits that go beyond mere aesthetics. It is an investment in a company’s brand identity, market position, and ultimately, its success. As businesses continue to navigate a competitive environment, the expertise and creative prowess of a graphic designer can be a pivotal element in distinguishing a company from its competitors, fostering customer loyalty, and driving business growth.

What I Designed Today: Slide Deck for Healthcare Client Strategic Talent Group

I picked up a new client late last year and designed a deck for them in December. Normally I’d design anything and everything in Adobe (well, almost), but when they needed editable forms with limited resources they could revise on the fly, I designed a form for them using Master Slide feature in PowerPoint. It’s not how I’d normally do forms but there is a use case for those who only work in presentation software. Random sample slides from the deck below — including a sample of the Candidate Presentation Template form.

Welcome Home, Blue-Eyed Rottweiler Mix Rescue Puppy!

The title speaks for itself! Take a look at those baby blue eyes on this Rottweiler mix rescue from the SPCA. He’s 7 lbs and fluffy and we named him Roscoe after Rosco P. Coltrane for those of you who are old enough to get the TV reference. 10-4 little buddy! We’re in love.

Blue eyed Rottweiler puppy

We were told 5 pups were dumped on a cardboard box and approximately 5-6 weeks old. The shelter thought they might be Rottweiler mixed with German Shepherd, but we’re thinking we got a Husky disguised as a Rottweiler — he’s so fluffy, he’s like a little bear.

Rescued Rottweiler puppy likes his new home

What I Designed Today: a YouTube Thumbnail + Social Media Post Graphic

The image below is a thumbnail cover image for an upcoming live podcast by sports commentators who I’ve grown to admire recently as I’ve helped them with their social media. The sports industry is new for me and I’m learning and making connections with sports journalists and reporters — they’re a fun crew! If you like to talk sports, give The Buck Stops Here a listen. They’ll be announcing their trademarked United States Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural class this week! Details on the image.

The image below will be slightly adjusted further to optimize size and resolution for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. if you’re interested, I’ll be the podcast LIVE on their TikTok channel as well. Join us!

Advanced Reader Copy Book Review for Net Galley: Agatha Christie Plots, Clues and Misdirections

Book Review: Advanced Reader Copy for Net Galley for Agatha Christie Plots, Clues and Misdirections book title


As an Agatha Christie devotee, I found this book by Sally & Tony Hope through The Book Guild Publishing (a subsidiary of Troubador Publishing) to be a thorough collection and analysis of the mystery-genre literary devices she uses in her works. If you’re an Agatha Christie fan as well, or an aspiring murder mystery writer, this book is for you!

Want to get Advanced Reader Copies of books?

Join Net Galley.

What I Designed Today (er, 2020): Digital Religious Stake Fasting and Prayer Invitation Graphics for Social Media

⏰ One of the things it took me far too long to learn 🎓 is that 🔥 “done” is better than perfect 🔥 . . . except for maybe brain surgery and rocket science. If I could go back and redo this pro bono 2020 religious invitation for a special day of prayer and fasting (needed now even more than during the pandemic!) I would absolutely request higher-ups change the verbiage to “It consists of abstaining from . . .” but likely they requested it and I was preoccupied with my full-time humanitarian role. Does the message get across? ✅ Does it still bother me it wasn’t perfect? ✅ Can I live with that? ✅ 

Two prayer and fasting invitation options below that I had designed for the Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) below.

Religious invitation for day of prayer and fasting during Covid 2020

What I designed today: An Evita Theatre Program for a Theater in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Yes, I spelled “theater” both ways — the intentional “error” will increase engagement and better the SEO results for my Google search terms, so it’s a win-win for everyone except old-style grammar afficionados and most English teachers. As unofficial president of the Sharpie Enthusiasts Club, I apologize and encourage fixing the error with a Sharpie.

This program was actually designed in very early July on a rush basis because the original print layout person became ill. It’s been a few years since I designed anything for the theater, so it took longer than usual, but was fun to try and match the original cover style the original designer had created. I loved the custom gilt frames and golden photo backdrop I was able to bring to the interior — particularly the spreads for the major roles. It’s been a long time since I designed anything and felt like riding a bike after many years. The speed will come back as soon as I get familiar with the upgrades to the tools I used to use and some fantastic new ones that have surfaced in the last 6 years!

The show had all sold out performances — CONGRATS to Superstar Productions and the Darwin Theater in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia!

What I designed today: A horizontal funnel to illustrate learner journey retention for Google Cloud

Disclaimer: I’ve been so busy working that most of the “What I designed today” posts are going to be a retrospective! I designed this horizontal funnel a few weeks ago. The funnel was used in executive presentations using Google Slides for Google Cloud Partner Learning & Certification. The intent was to illustrate Google Cloud learner journey progress through a 5-stage funnel. I had a difficult time finding a vector or raster graphic for a horizontal funnel, so I drew one in Adobe Illustrator! I actually drew two versions: a horizontal funnel WITH a gray path and one without. Here’s the original .ai file for Adobe Illustrator for you to copy and tweak or a transparent PNG. Not-so-incidentally, this fits standard Google or PowerPoint Slides perfectly.

SEE BELOW the FUNNEL IMAGE for QUICK DESIGN TUTORIAL on how to use PNG files and keep image sizes low in large presentations and documents.

Design tip: place the entire PNG in your file and crop the image to the part you want to use. If you’re working in PowerPoint, you can compress images to what is shown to keep your file size down. Here’s a handy, quick 1-minute video tutorial on how to save space by compressing images in PowerPoint — makes for easy file sharing and space saving files. It was an old tech tip I shared with colleagues in my last role but still applies for those of you who want to keep file sizes down for sharing without using cloud hyperlinks.

What I Designed Today: Google Cloud Exam Tips Packet

Much of the work I do for Google Cloud is to help partner organizations help their learners successfully become Google Cloud certified. I actually designed this during Q4 2022 which always seems to be crunch time for taking certification exams — both for achieving KPIs for Google AND for achieving personal career goals before year-end. If you want to download a PDF of this Google Cloud Certification Exam Tips packet, here’s the official Google linked PDF for you.

What I Designed Today: Farmers Market Business Cards

I have always been somewhat proud — that’s not quite the right word — of the fact that over 25 years of designing marketing materials for clients, I have NEVER advertised. I think it’s less pride than it is reassurance that my skills and talents are valued and worthwhile and not having to advertise is just a key performance indicator (KPI in the business world).

Front of the business card for Palisades Farmers Market in Washington D.C.
Back of the business card for Palisades Farmers Market in Washington D.C.

During my 6 years of consulting and humanitarian work, I didn’t design much of anything (although those skills did come in handy many times – particularly using MailChimp to send a regional newsletter but I digress…). Occasionally random strangers would still approach me via email or my website about design work. Most of the time, I’ve had to ignore those requests but I had some free time yesterday when an easy request arrived in my in-box and I learned a few things about myself:

  • I was giddily happy to be doing any kind of design work again. I just love to CREATE whether it’s a small business card or an entire marketing plan or confidence in a colleague or friend…creation is my “thing.”
  • Software is the same, but with wonderful upgrades — and believe it or not I kept up my Adobe subscription for 6 years while barely using it (now that’s a commitment to software you love).
  • I’ll never get used to switching from Mac to PC back to Mac again — muscle memory from years of shortcuts and keyboard strokes do NOT translate to the right buttons! I’ll get there…still loving my new MacBook…but probably just in time to get back to Windows 10 and a PC (which I despised at first but quickly came to love). I joke that we’re a non-denominational platform family — we like to use ALLLLLLL the devices available to improve our lives.

This new client found me via a simple Google search for “ticket business card” and came across this old post from 2013. Wow! That’s reassuring because even though I thought my skills were a bit rusty — and I’m sure they are — good design is timeless. I may not have the drawing skills I’d like but I can set up a typographical hierarchy like nobody’s business…and it was good to know I’ve still got it, it just takes a little longer than six years ago!

What I Designed Today: Billboards for Adam & Kizzie at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall

Adam & Kizzie are coming to Bartlesville and it’s going to be a fantastic night of music at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall.  This is a new direction for OK Mozart’s music selection and this duo with their gospel, blues, rock-n-roll and jazz sound are sure to please.  I can’t wait to hear how they sound in Ambler Hall.  If you’re local, info & tix are at okmozart.com.

Technically I designed these billboards a little over two weeks ago.  The traditional billboard goes up tomorrow and I hope to add a shot of that from the street as well.

Traditional billboard

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Digital billboard

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Digital billboard from the street

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What I Designed Today: Logo Guide for Bartlesville’s Ambler Hall

It’s not a full-on style guide but it’s a step in the right direction with a usage guide for the most common scenarios for a logo.  I’m so excited about some of the concerts coming up at Ambler Hall!  Check out Adam & Kizzie — they’re coming in November.  For more details, visit OK Mozart on the web.

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