How great graphic design made its way from billboards in the 50s to our smartphones today

The 1950s are considered the heyday of graphic design and advertising. The advertising of that decade featured splashes of color to convey satisfaction and wealth. But, to paraphrase the old Camel cigarette ads, we’ve come a long way, baby. Designers are now tasked with creating not just the billboards and magazine adverts but websites, online adverts, apps and other visual content. Which graphic design ideas can be applied from the 1950s to today?

When thinking about the design of your website there are a few things you need to bear in mind, can your visitors determine what your company does in 5 seconds? Can users easily navigate the website. If you’re finding yourself answering ‘no’ to these questions then continue reading this Pathwwway Gaming article as we look at how to incorporate the principles of great design from the 1950s  in design today. 

  1. Have a Plan

One of the many graphic design ideas that you can learn from is to have a solid plan in place before you start on your website. The best way to make sure your website effectively meets the needs of your visitors is to do as the 1950s ad men did and think about your customers first.

Map out a customer journey on your website from the first time they visit to the moment they become a customer. Which are the pages they’re going to view? What content are they going to read first? And what offers are they going to convert on? Understanding this journey will help you design a site that guides people from reading your blog to buying your products. 

  1. Use Calls-to-Action

Advertisers in the 1950s were known for many of their witty slogans and direct calls to action, this is one of the graphic design ideas that can easily be used when designing online materials for all devices.

When your visitors land on your site is it clear what they need to do next? You should steer their browsing experience or they won’t know what pages to view or actions to take. Provide visitors with clear direction (buy, donate, sign up) and you’ll see an increase in that targeted action. Call-to-action buttons are a very effective element that you can use to indicate the next step user should take on a page.

Using call-to-actions the right way can generate even more leads for your business. Some example call-to-actions that you should use in your web marketing are as follows: “click here for more information” “download a sample”, “sign up for a webinar”, “watch the video”, “see all services”, and “see pricing.” 

  1. Use the Right Images

If there’s one-thing 1950s designers knew, it was how to use the right image! In today’s visual world knowing which images to use is one of the most useful graphic design ideas to take note of.

Not every image is going to fit your Pathwwway Gaming brand values or fit the type of message you’re trying to show your audience. But, thanks to the internet there are tons of images to choose from so you’ll be able to find the perfect image for your message.

Try to avoid using generic stock images though just because it exists doesn’t mean it looks genuine. Ideally, you want to use photos that portray the real people that work at your company. Using these kinds of images will evoke much more trust in your company than an image found on a stock website. 

  1. Use White Space

White space is an essential design element that was used in the 1950s it helps you break up the page and increases the readability of your website. White space is usually called ‘negative space’ in the design community. It’s as simple as it sounds, it refers to the empty areas around elements on a page.

You’ll probably have the desire to fill all the space available to you, but this is an obvious amateur mistake. Leaving white space around your elements may seem wasteful but that white space serves a purpose, it’s responsible for readability and content prioritization.

A few more design ideas that you can make use of from the present day:

  1. Keep it Simple

The average person surfing the web only gives your website 8 seconds of their attention before they decide to click somewhere else. With this in mind you need to be able to create a first impression that easily gets the main points across.

Complicated animations, content that’s too long and generic stock images are a few things that will detract from your message and your brand’s value. Grab people’s attention with short, powerful sections of content and applicable photographs or icons that are sectioned by clear and concise headers

  1. Let Your Visitors Scroll on Your Homepage

Remember when everything was ‘below the fold’?  You needn’t worry about that these days as longer homepages, which are more scrollable are great for people on mobile devices! Create a seamless experience and help direct new and recurring users to areas of your site on your homepage. But, what should your homepage sections highlight? Think about this with your visitors in mind are they first time users or are the majority recurring visitors?  Some of the most crucial elements to include on your homepage would be an intro video, overview of services, product features, about us and client testimonials

  1. Create an SEO strategy

If you want to build an effective online presence, then you need to create a website that can get found. This all begins with developing a strong SEO strategy that takes into consideration the search terms your buyers and audience would search for. Your strategy should include creating content that’s relevant to the needs of your visitors. Videos, blog articles, and e-books are a few examples of content that can do this.

  1. Mobile Optimization

One thing 1950s ad men certainly didn’t have to worry about was whether or not their ads were ‘mobile ready.’ With 80% of users preferring to use smartphones to access the internet, it’s imperative that you optimize your website for mobile devices. Do this by making sure your website loads quickly and looks good on smaller screens. Making sure your website looks good on smartphones is certainly the most crucial of all the graphic design ideas.