Graphic Design in Public Relations

I am a double major in public relations and marketing, although I hope to continue more into the public relations field.  The definition of Public relations according to the PRSSA is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”  After reading that definition one might not think that graphic design, defined as “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books” might not have too much in common with public relations.  On the contrary these two fields are very closely related. PR specialists use graphic design almost everyday.  Public relations is a communication process and you must be able to communicate your message efficiently to your publics which is exactly what graphic design helps to do. In lecture, we talked about how the way that something is presented will define how you react to it.  Therefore, if Public relations specialists are trying to express a certain way that someone should feel about something they would use the help of graphic designers to help convey that message.  An example of this would be Nike using inspirational quotes and catch phrases on athletic images.  Nike almost never talks aboutScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.18.13 PM how they are selling shoes in their ads, or that their shoes will make the buyer run faster.  Instead Nike gives the idea that exercise helps to fulfill a better way of life and their products will get the consumer to that better way of life. Public relations specialists and graphic design help to create this feeling of empowerment which in turn benefits Nike.

Graphic design is also extremely important in helping PR specialists brand or rebrand a company. For example, Tropicana switched their logo to make the print that says “100% orange pure and natural” more front and center with larger text. Picture1They are looking to target people in search of more natural, healthier foods rather than people looking for a name brand. So the company is trying to rebrand themselves as a fresh and healthy company to meet this needs of the consumers.  Tropicana probably didn’t change any ingredients in their orange juice but instead a graphic designer and PR specialist came together to present the brand in a different way which now is boosting sales.

Graphic design in so important in public relations because it helps to make the information the PR specialists are trying to convey more interesting and relatable.  It can be the difference between someone passing by a sign and not noticing and stopping to take in what exactly is being said on it.  Without graphic design in the PR industry it would make being relatable to the consumer nearly impossible.  Evoking emotions and attention would be difficult and the meanings of certain statements or PR campaigns could be misconstrued.

Kerry Judge

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