Cluttered visuals and design elements graphic design studio Melbourne

Ask our graphic design studio in Melbourne: the problem with low-quality visuals

They say a picture says a thousand words. Nowhere is this truer than in the highly competitive business world, where your brand may only have seconds to make a strong impression on key stakeholders.

As a graphic design studio in Melbourne, we understand intimately the power of good visuals when it comes to marketing your brand or organisation. Whether it’s brochures, print advertising, or social media tiles, good visuals play a key role in:

  • Setting you apart from the competition
  • Building credibility, authority, and trustworthiness
  • Attracting attention in a crowded marketplace
  • Communicating what your brand stands for

There are plenty of things you’ll need to consider while navigating the graphic design process to ensure that you avoid low-quality visuals and all the related pitfalls. It can be challenging but as experts in marketing collateral and branding, we’ve put together a list of some of the things you’ll be able to use as a jumping off point for your visuals and branding.

Quality matters: why good visuals are so important for your marketing

Good visuals make a for good first impression

Human beings are visual creatures. It only takes seconds to make a first impression and the human brain processes images thousands of times faster than text. Good visuals help your organisation or brand put its best foot forward and make a strong first impression with key stakeholders.

This is especially important in the digital sphere, where users may only see your visuals in their feed for a split-second before they’ve scrolled past. Strong, attention-grabbing visuals help your digital content cut through the clutter and help you stand out in a crowded digital space.

Once a bad first impression is made, it takes considerably more work to reverse it. In many cases, you’ll never get the chance, especially in highly-competitive markets where customers have lots of options to choose from. Strong visuals and graphic design are key in ensuring that your organisation is putting its best foot forward.

Good graphic design and branding says a lot about you

Good visuals don’t simply make a strong first impression, however – they also subtly communicate key facts about your organisation and brand. Your logo, colour pallet, and images all tell customers, clients and stakeholders something about you. Even something as minor as logo shape can subtly communicate something about your brand – according to a 2021 study, high-power consumers perceive square logos as more competent or reliable.

This is just one example of how visuals help communicate your brand. Graphic designers will account for factors such as these when creating visuals for your organisation.

A picture says a thousand words

For organisations that need to communicate a lot of information in a short window of time, good visuals and quality graphic design are critical. Long product sheets may detail everything there is about your goods or services, but this approach can easily overwhelm potential customers and clients in the crucial first few seconds.

Visuals such as infographics and charts can communicate the most important information more succinctly and efficiently. Seconds count when making a sale, and good visuals play a key role in getting your message across in a split-second.

Bad design can relay a sense of unprofessionalism

Imagine you receive a sales brochure and all the images inside are blurry and pixellated. Or you visit a business website where none of the pages follow a consistent theme or style. Inconsistent, low-quality visuals are a surefire way to ensure that your organisation leaves an unprofessional and careless image.

Think about it from the perspective of someone encountering your brand for the first time. While low quality visuals may not seem like a big problem, it shows a lack of care and attention to detail which in turn can subtly affect an audience’s willingness to trust your brand and organisation.

Visuals drive engagement

A strong visual component doesn’t just make you stand out from the crowd – in many cases, they can also turn that attention in action, triggering specific responses and driving engagement. This is especially crucial in digital marketing, where engagement and interaction are the critical metrics.

Good digital and web design doesn’t just present information – it also uses visuals to drive people towards specific actions. Small changes to visuals can have a significant impact on what sorts of behaviour customers, clients, and stakeholders take. Even minor tweaks such as changing the colours of a call-to-action button can lead to a 6.3% jump in sales.

How to avoid low-quality visuals in your graphic design and visual communication

Don’t use the first images you see

It can be tempting to pull the first picture from Google Images or a stock image library, especially in digital marketing where content schedules can often call for constant content. A quantity-over-quality approach towards visuals can easily take hold.

While the need for efficiency is understandable, picking images off stock image sites or Google without proper consideration comes with a variety of risks. For example, the images may not represent your brand and its values. Worse, not all images on the web are free to use:

  • Some images may be copyrighted and need to be purchased before use
  • Others may require attribution to the original creator
  • Print usage may be limited to a set number of cards, shirts, brochures, etc
  • Some may even prohibit commercial usage altogether

Using images without consideration for these factors can result in legal action, such as when BuzzFeed was successfully sued in 2020 after using a picture without the photographer’s permission or credit. While unlikely, it shows that you can’t simply use the first images you find and drives home the importance of due diligence when sourcing images.

Image resolution is critical

The first step in taking your brand’s graphic design to the next level is by starting with high-resolution images for all your visual communication. Higher resolutions offer more flexibility to graphic designers, allowing them to manipulate and resize images without worrying about losing image quality.

They also allow you to create campaigns with more consistent visuals across a wider range of channels. A low-resolution image may be suitable for flyers, but will not scale up for large web banners without blurriness. Choosing quality images from the get-go allows you to avoid these difficulties and enables you to create campaigns that present a consistent image across more channels.

Use your own visuals where possible

Our graphic design team understands that it won’t always be feasible to use your own photography for everything. However, you should strive to use your own images where possible, especially for important visuals such as website homepages.

The reasons are simple:

  1. Full control over the message the image communications
  2. 100% unique photos that represent your brand in a way stock images can’t
  3. Custom photos let you show off your actual products and projects

Custom photography is better at establishing credibility and says a lot more about your brand than any stock image. Of course, it can also be expensive and time-consuming. Even in cases where stock imagery is the most efficient option however, there are ways you can customise the image to make it more true to your brand. For example, our graphic design studio in Melbourne might use stock images as a starting point or template to create composite images.

More is not always better when it comes to graphic design

Visual communication is about more than just logos and images. Equally as important as the images and graphics are how they’re laid out. Good formatting and layouts reduce confusion and clutter, ensure that critical information is front-and-centre, and helps stakeholders understand how everything relates to each other.

One of the most common formatting traps that people fall victim to is simply thinking “more is better”. The result is marketing collateral that’s densely packed with visual and written information, and layouts that are hard to follow. Less is more when it comes to graphic design, especially if the goal is to maximise cut through.

Consistency is key – good visual design applies to ALL visuals

For time-poor marketing and communications managers, it can be tempting to treat some visuals as more important than others. Print ads, website homepages, logos, and sales brochures often receive considerably more attention and care than social media thumbnails or email signatures.

The instinct is understandable – these are the visuals that do the heavy lifting. However, it’s important that all visuals follow good design principles. It’s also important that you have a coherent brand strategy guiding your visuals across all channels. Remember, even relatively “unimportant” graphics such as a social media thumbnail or branded notepad may still be someone’s first exposure to your brand.

Need a graphic design studio in Melbourne?

Good visuals are key to making a good first impression and cutting through in a crowded marketplace. It’s also a lot of work, especially for brands that have multiple touchpoints and campaigns running simultaneously.

Of course, good visuals take time to create – something that not all marketing and communications teams will have the capacity to do in-house.

As an end-to-end marketing agency in Melbourne, we have experience working on marketing collateral across a wide range of mediums, as well as creating comprehensive and cohesive brand strategies that underpin your visual communication.

We have experience working with organisations of all sies in all sorts of different sectors. Whether you need a graphic design studio in Melbourne to look after all your visuals on an ongoing basis or simply need support for an upcoming campaign, we’re ready to help with responsive, results-driven service.

Interested in getting a quote? Give our team of expert graphic designers a call on (03) 9857 5550, or drop us a message and we’ll be in touch with strategies to take your visuals to the next level.

Find out what MOO can do for you

If you want to stand out from the herd, call us on (03) 9857 5550 or email