About the Author
Sarah is co-director of Malvolio. She brings her creative skills to the business, and loves concept development in commercial projects, illustration, and working on various self-initiated paper craft projects in her spare time.
Communication design and kids cartoons: the connection
This year, our family has fallen in love with the kids cartoon Bluey. I personally adore it because it’s relatable. And that’s the gem we can take from this to improve any communication design we do.
In design, even with the best intentions, clients often fall into the style taking precedence over the purpose. While it’s important how any graphic design or website design looks, the purpose of why we’re designing in the first place comes first. Who are you trying to communicate to? Who are you trying to get the attention of?
And to get the attention of someone, if you make it something they can relate to, you will have all eyes on you. Your customers can feel familiar before even connecting with you, if how you are communicating to them relates to their emotions, needs/wants, age, life experience.
This is something that the producers of Bluey have mastered. It’s a simple show: the life of a family of dogs, centered around their 6-year-old. But it gathered a huge following almost overnight. How?
It’s a relatable show.
It’s not just a family, it’s a family in Australia, in a typical Queenslander home, doing typical family “stuff”. Episodes include visiting a friend’s swimming pool (and trying not to get sunburnt because they forgot sunscreen!), getting Chinese take-away for dinner (waiting for ages, then needing to go back to fix up what was forgotten in the order), kids playing a game of keepy-uppy with a balloon (and then the very last balloon popping).
The way it relates to other families (including ours), has people addicted to watching. They feel connected, because they can see themselves in those situations. And this is hugely important in communication design too. If you want to capture someone’s attention, relate to them. Use the words that they are familiar with. Use images that they can relate to, that they can picture themselves in. Make the personality of your business as someone your customers would want to be friends with.
Being relatable is underrated. While everyone else is trying so hard to be clever, strip back your ideas and plans, and think about how you can relate first. That will be the golden foundation to everything you build in your business. And all of your communication design will shine because of it.