In a number of ways, the graphic design and fashion industry are closely aligned. Essentially, the $2.4 trillion-worth industry works in collaboration with graphic designers in a number of ways – namely, branding, advertising, social media and in some cases, clothing design itself. In this article we’ll be delving into what exactly goes on inside the interconnected partnership between the field of fashion and graphic design.
Fashion is undoubtedly a form of art, seen to be predominantly appealing for its design aesthetic. Although buyers may be drawn to a store, brand or piece of clothing for its value, material, price tag or brand label, above all else it ultimately comes down to how it looks. It’s design. Fashion is a dominant visual art industry that is built upon an aesthetic visual message.
Integral to a fashion brand’s success, graphic design has almost infiltrated the sphere itself. Since the early 20th century, graphic designers have been involved in advertising, fashion design, illustration, brand identity, packaging and so much more. I’m sure you see where we’re going with this.
Bring your brand to life
Among many things that graphic designers do for the fashion industry, branding is perhaps the most important one. Large fashion labels like Adidas, Nike, Chanel or Louis Vuitton are all instantaneously recognizable for their logos and associated branding.
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These elements are inspired, created and maintained by design teams, without whom the labels quite literally wouldn’t exist. As we know, graphic design and colour theory (could insert branding article) are crucial elements that should be taken into consideration when building a brand, as it works to communicate the message, morals and statement of the brand itself.
Enticing buyers into loving your products is purely design oriented. Special attention to aesthetic, design, colour and recognizability in a way that builds a brand identity is what sets it apart from a local store owner who has been around for a similar amount of time. It is the design team that handles photo direction, graphics, images, videos and social media posts in a way that reflects the brand identity and perpetuates in into mainstream culture.
Taking on this role in any company is no easy feat, and requires designers who possesses great artistic and marketing skills. A brand’s target audience is another component taken into consideration by designers, as they alter and specify their designs, advertisements and branding in a way that caters to that particular target group.
When building a potential brand or brand identity, it’s important to consider how exactly you are going to carry certain processes out. When working within the fashion industry, there are a number of decisions that need to be made – will you use traditional or digital advertising means? Which social media platforms will you use, and does it align with the brand?
These questions are all integral to a graphic designers job, and just as important as the designs themselves. In a solely creative industry like fashion, design touches every corner of the process.
Up to Date
Another crucial aspect in which graphic designers play a significant role, is staying up to date and in tune with the latest trends and techniques. In order to reach a broad audience, marketing and branding need to adhere what is hot at that given moment.
For example, social media postings should include the latest fonts, layouts and filters to name a few. By doing so, fashion brands and labels remain current and relevant in an industry that is forever changing.
Together with decent UI and UX, having a website that aligns with a given fashion brand provides great opportunity to attract clients. A high quality and highly skilled graphic design team is increasingly responsible for the core effectiveness of a fashion brand in regards to its promotion to the public.
Essentially, graphic designers work to make fashion designer’s dreams a reality, by bringing concepts and ideas to fruition. Within a market that is ever-changing, fashion brands are often pushed to consistently dig deep and find something new that will keep them relevant.
Working with Large Brands
A number of large fashion and clothing brands recognise the crucial nature and importance of having a good graphic design team on board. Nike offers between $90 000 – $97 000 as a base salary for their graphic designers. These numbers alone should indicate the high regard that successful, top industry players have for graphic designers within their business.
Impacting Customers and Sales
Next we’re going to take a look at what impact graphic designer have on customers and sales. Essentially, knowing what customers are drawn to, want and need is the primary goal when generating sales.
Implement business ideas
It is the job of the graphic designer to implement business ideas into creative strategies that attract buyers. During this process, brands and their graphic design team align their thinking, plans and goals regarding how to approach a given project or situation.
By putting out pieces, collections or designs that appeal to customers in this way, sales are often boosted.
Another important component of the relationship between graphic designers and customers is the feeling of connectedness. The fashion industry nowadays has become increasingly culture specific in which certain trends, styles and designs are unique to that given culture. With this in mind, brands tend to take culture into consideration in a way that it can be seen in the clothing pieces themselves.
Customers are often drawn or connected to their country or culture and tend to prefer clothing they have an emotional connection with. Given this, graphic designers play a significant role in connecting the brand to the customers.
Inclusivity and equality
Inclusive and customized designs are a crucial addition to any contemporary brand existing in today’s times. We’ve seen in the past how ‘one-size-fits-all’ has in fact not fitted all, creating an uproar within the industry and calling for a more inclusive approach to fashion design.
Now, brands rely on their design team to produce products that are inclusive of all cultures, body types, genders, sexualities, ethnicities and skin tones, and that their marketing and advertising does just that. With a rise in competition within the industry, it’s important that brands listen to their customers and produce designs that put them above their competitors. What better way to do this than with inclusivity and equality for your customers?
Adapt and push
Times and trends are forever changing, meaning design terms have to constantly adapt and push the brand to be the best version it can be. Working within the fashion industry as a graphic designer is no easy feat and involves a great deal of critical thinking, design skills, flexibility and sensitivity to the public. Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister defined this-
“Design is a language, so you can use it for complaining, entertaining, educating, agitating, organising, money raising, mourning, denouncing, selling and promoting.”
In an attempt to represent the essence of their brand, graphic designers constantly work to push boundaries and expectations within the field, in a way that propels the evolving narrative of the brand forward and draws customers inward.
Are you a creative looking to get started within the fashion industry? Or maybe looking to market your own brand? Platforms like Canva and Crello do just that. Create flyers, advertisements, social media posts and more. Check out our article on Canva & Crello to see which platform is best suited for you and your needs. Of course you can always fall back on the trusted graphic design software from Adobe or hire someone down the line who can help you with your branding.