Crowdfunding without a Graphic Designer
I’ve been a graphic designer for many prominent Kickstarter projects. I’ve spent hundreds of hours carefully designing frames, reward icons and going through many many rounds of approvals. But why spend hours fine-tuning the details, when it can be spent reaching out to press or working on prototypes? Let’s look at what role graphics play in a crowdfunding campaign, and what you need to know to create them without busting your budget or even hiring a designer.
Let’s address the big question first.
Why hire a graphic designer for a crowdfunding campaign?
Are you a graphic designer? No? Then chances are you don’t know what good design looks like. Now this is not to say you don’t have taste. Your taste is unique to you. Crowdfunding graphics however, need to have mass appeal.
A graphic designer increases your chances to create mass appeal. No one can guarantee it to you, no matter how much money you spend, but everything you do just increases that chance. A person who spent a few years creating commercial art, knows a thing or two about what works best. They know the basics and have the necessary skill. Your goal is to tell them what you need and want as best you can.
Do complex graphics and visual strategy help get more pledges?
If no one knows about your campaign and is not there to see it, then no. You have to get eyes on your page. The graphics are there to: create excitement, sell your idea to others, convince them to pledge as much as they can.
Graphics can sway people either way. Display blurry images and confusing illustrations — you loose trust and funds. Impress people and create intrigue and you get a boost. It’s better to display simple and straightforward images if you’re on a budget — less reward, but also less risk.
How to create winning campaign images?
The following will be helpful both if you have a dedicated person for your art, and if you’re doing things yourself.
Start with a vague idea of the whole campaign. What is your main theme, what is the feel? That is what should guide your creative decisions. Remember — you’re creating a feeling, an association. All the elements contribute to what you want people to feel.
A few tips on graphics:
· Have as much of the product and reward images ready as you can. People fall in love with images much faster than vague promises and concepts.
· Your main project image doesn’t have to be of the product. You can also go for a mood or action your product is associated with.
· Make sure your images are technically fit for the page. A project image is 1024x576 pixels (16:9 ratio) in size; your campaign page images are no more than 680px wide.
· Test images on the page to see if they are blurry or the wrong size. Avoid placing text on images — it will look blurry.
· Start your page with the most attractive image. Resist the temptation to display every image you have.
· Get a few samples of art done and post them to social media to get people’s reactions. This can be used as your social media content and as marketing material.
How much does visual presentation really matter?
Here’s a small add for a Kickstarter. The mistake? It gives me no reason to care. There are definitely images in here, but there is no story, it doesn’t spark interest, raise questions and intrigue me. It’s easy to ignore and so I will.
Two different campaigns with two very different outcomes:
Great professional visuals, but the interest is just not there:
Weak visuals, but successfully funded:
The campaign page is where you need to sell your product. All your external marketing will bring people to the page, but you ultimately still need to sell the product itself. Many factors can contribute to your ultimate success or failure. As long as you keep the basics in mind, you raise your chances to make it a success.