“Form” and “function” are two terms often seen together. In essence, they are the yin and yang of graphic design and production. Generally, good design needs to follow function. Design must hold up through production of everything from a company’s logo, enlarged and emblazoned on an interior wall to application as part of a vehicle wrap. It must be attractive, able to be produced efficiently and cost-effectively, and easily understood by the audience.
In some cases, the two can be in competition with one another. Graphic designers wanting to create a work of art sometimes don’t consider the practical applications of a design. Will printing it prove so complicated and costly as to be cost-prohibitive? How can it adapt to a whole host of uses if developed as a primary branding element? Can different uses maintain the essential branding look, or will it wind up looking distorted and require a variety of adaptations to maintain a similar appearance? Can it be flexible for use on everything from a website banner and corporate identification materials to creation of a large outdoor sign?
These are just tip-of-the-iceberg questions when it comes to design and branding. They are questions that Colographic has had to address for decades as a company known primarily for vehicle wraps. Here are a few reasons why:
· Generally, vehicle graphics are extremely large compared to everyday use. What looks great on a letterhead can appear misshapen, even grotesque, on a large “canvas.” Likewise, such effects as reversing light type out of a dark background may be dramatic on a large surface such as a truck or large interior graphic—but it may be hard to read on a website or small directional sign. So, the marriage of form and function always is top-of-mind;
· How will lighting conditions impact the look? Fleet vehicles travel day and night. They park in shaded areas. What may appear clean and crisp in daylight hours easily can get lost at night, or even in the shade. Is this a concern? Are there ways to make the nighttime or shaded appearances more dynamic and dramatic? At what point does “enlivening” the graphics become a potentially dangerous/distracting (and therefore reputation-damaging) visual?
· Certain colors, designs and finishes stand up/appear better (or worse) in the elements. Even though a vehicle wrap may look great when the truck is clean, what effects will dirt, road salt, precipitation, intense sunlight and the like have on that appearance both short-term and down the road?
Because these are complex considerations built into our company “DNA,” it’s only natural to look at the big picture when dealing with customer vehicle wrapping challenges. Well, that mindset applies across the board to development of branding that can stand the test across all visual platforms—signs, interior graphics, collateral and corporate identification materials, trade show booths, such premium items as coffee cups, corporate publications, digital applications, and other large-format graphics including trucks, murals, building identification (both inside and out)…and more.
Companies ready to revisit their current branding deserve a partner that understands and applies form and function as inseparable elements. Interested in knowing more? Let’s talk.