Sweating the Details Keeps Things Cool
Fall has finally arrived in Tennessee, and with it has come relief from the heat and…sweater weather! On the very first cooler day, I went ahead and pulled out my favorite cardigan. Just seeing it makes me smile. The thing I love most are the tiny surprises sewn into this sweater. Inside the cuffs is a thin strip of blue yarn with a tiny little button – totally random, but somehow perfect. The collar has a strip of matching blue velvet running along the inner seam, just above the tag. These kinds of tiny details, barely visible, remind me that whatever we create, be it a piece of clothing or a corporate brochure – is elevated when the maker gives loving attention to the details.
Those little touches can also set the most basic piece of communication apart. Experienced designers know when those small details are appropriate and effective. The unexpected, the whimsical, a touch of contrasting color, or just a bit of white space to open up a dense piece of text, these can provide easy entry for the reader, so they’re engaged, not overwhelmed.
Cronin Creative is currently wrapping up an annual report for Vanderbilt Health that adheres to the organization’s recently refreshed brand look. While there’s not a lot of room to get creative in a straight-ahead, informational document like this, we brought in subtle touches. Just changing a block of color behind some text, for example, succeeded in transforming what would have been a series of repetitive squares of color into a page that flowed easily, pulling the reader along.
These days there are some great online tools that non-designers can use to quickly create a cool social media graphic. Canva is a great resource, and Adobe now offers easy-to-use software and apps. With all the information we consume every day, these tools can help you add the little details that create a subtle-but-sizable impression.
Next time you find yourself drawn to an ad or the content of a brochure, go back and look for those little details, those inviting graphic touches that may have hit you on a subconscious level the first time around. Chances are, behind that big impact is a designer who knew how to make the most of the small stuff.