Caption: A flyer used to invite WOUGNET members for a training
Graphics design can be identified as the art of projecting ideas and experiences with the aid of visual and textual content. These may be through infographics, flyers, typography, videos, voiceovers, banners, and brochures among others.
During the Digital Literacy Training
On the 3rd Feb 2023, during the digital literacy training for its member organisations on how to use Canva for graphic design, we looked at examples of design tools used for graphic design which include such as Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, Sketch, and Figma However during the training we focussed on Canva, a web-based design tool that offers a variety of free features and template for creating social media posts, presentations, posters and other designs. It is user-friendly and the nonprofit status gives you access to canvas for teams’ premium features to nonprofit organisations for free.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges for organizations worldwide, with many organizations having to shift their operations online and adopt new ways of communicating with their audience and community. Graphic design has played a crucial role in helping organizations navigate these challenges through graphic design because (1) it is a powerful tool for branding an organization both online and offline which helps communicate an organization’s values, personality, and impact to its society. Some ways that graphic design can be valuable for an organization:
Establishing a visual identity: A strong visual identity is crucial for branding an organisation. This can be through a logo, colour palette, typography, and imagery all coming together to create a visual representation of the organisation for example on the website. Consistency across all these elements is important to establish a recognizable and memorable visual identity that helps differentiate one organisation from another. Secondly, it has helped in Communication. This helps one to recognise your organisation for instance through your website, or other materials such as flyers, and brochures e.t.c, they are more likely to remember the brand and associate it with positive attributes.
Graphic design for organisations also can be used for fundraising by creating visually compelling fundraising campaigns that can inspire donors to contribute. For example, a well-designed website, email campaign, or social media post can help convey the impact of the organization’s work and encourage people to donate.
Another importance is public awareness: Graphic design can help organizations create public awareness campaigns that bring attention to important issues. For example, a visually compelling flyer campaign can be used to raise awareness, invite people for dialogues about a social or environmental issue and encourage people to take action.
Educational material: organizations can use graphic design to create educational materials that help people understand complex issues. For example, infographics, publications or brochures can be designed to provide information about a particular topic in an engaging and accessible way.
Lastly, graphic design can be used for event promotion by organizations often to create awareness, sensitize communities, convene dialogues or raise funds. Promotional materials such as flyers, banners, and posters usually help generate interest in the event and encourage people to attend.
The SMILE project funded by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) has made it possible to implement this digital literacy training. Overall, graphic design is a powerful tool for branding an organization which helps to establish a professional image and communicate brand values and personality, even during Covid-19, it helps several organizations to communicate with their audience effectively and adapt to the changes brought by the pandemic. The use of graphic design has allowed organizations to remain relevant, engage with their audience, and maintain their brand identity during this challenging time.
Written by Esther Nyapendi, SMILE Project lead: Technical Support officer & Irene Marunga, information sharing and Networking