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Role Emotions Play in Graphic Design

When it comes to web, logo, and graphic design, all people care about is gradient and color and contrast. Now I know that these aspects are important, but there’s something that is equally important (or probably even more) and that’s Emotion!

Currently, “emotion in design” is one of the trending topics over the internet. You get to see several blog posts and discussions on the importance of incorporating it in one’s design. So it’s clear that there is a growing awareness of emotion design among the contemporary designers.

For those who don’t know much about it, read on and discover ways to take your work a notch higher through emotion design.


Emotion Design

Emotion Design

As mentioned above, emotions in designs are absolutely vital. Everything that we do is evoked by a certain emotion such as anger, joy, sorrow and so on. A person without emotion is as good as lifeless. The same goes for web design. Instilling a particular emotion in your design will really give it another dimension.


How to Add Emotions in Design?

So now the question that arises is how should we produce emotion for the users of our site outside of the user-interface? Well to get the answer you need to look at it from the users’ perspective. You need to focus more on their perception than your composition.

If you manage to find out how your users feel, then pleasing them won’t be much difficult. For instance, if you know the users that visit your website are usually angry and flustered, then having a web design that depicts cheerfulness and exuberance would be ideal.


• Evoking Desire

Evoking Desire

One emotion that almost every company wants to evoke in its customers is that of “Desire”. The desire of having it; a desire to own the product! Take Apple, for example. Apple, in spite of creating exorbitant products has attained tremendous success over the years. Why? Simply because its products arouse a high level of desire among the people. They are presently the biggest fashion label in tech world.

Therefore, if you want to attract maximum number of users, then you have to instill a strong sense of desire in your web design.


• Creating Happiness

Creating Happiness

Websites that give a happy feeling overall are generally well-run. There are several ways you could instill a fresh, vibrant feeling in your graphics. You could use colors that reflect happiness, use content, make offers, show visuals that would help the reader forget all stress and simply smile.

Skittles is a tremendous example of a website that evokes happiness. The designers have worked diligently in giving a vivacious and delightful appearance. Graphics play a crucial role in creating a lively feeling. The site is regularly updated with news and fun activities. You can spend hours without getting bored or tired just reading the content and savoring the delicious colors.


• Stimulating Thrill

Stimulating Thrill

Thrill is not essential for all great web design, but for many, it produces excellent results. Take Red Bull, for example. The graphics are awesomely exhilarating and communicate the brand’s message perfectly to its fans and customers. The vision and mission of this brand is to add spirit and energy in human life. It sponsors various athletes and sports events. You can see visual details of all the adrenaline pumping experiences taking place under the banner of this brand.



Human behavior is a mix of many emotions. If you learn the art to respond to them intelligently then your graphic design will please your audience forever. Every visit they pay to your site will bring a new detail to attention and they are going to love you for the brilliant work.

The examples discussed earlier are few. There are many other emotions that play crucial role in bringing out the essence of your brand. Don’t just create beautiful graphics. Influence their ideas and opinions through Emotion Design. In other words, take your graphic design to the next level and focus on designing emotions rather than aesthetics.


How important do you think it is to incorporate emotions in web design? How does this strategy affect your own choice? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.


Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

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  1. Paul On April 29th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Interesting article, but I a not sure that they are separate issues, emotion is almost your brand persona, having a smiling face in a design that is not cohesive will not create an overall emotional response..and isnt the overall emotional response rooted in your brand character and reflected in the design?

  1. Charlie B. Johnson On April 30th, 2013 at 7:43 am

    You are absolutely right, Paul. Emotional response should essentially be rooted in the overall branding and therefore, it is imperative to make a conscious effort to use such graphics which will reflect an accurate image of the brand. It sounds ridiculously simple and yet we find many websites lacking the appropriate use of emotion design. The strategy is not just for giant corporations. Small scale businesses should also be mindful of all possible aspects of successful branding.

  1. MicroSourcing On May 15th, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Graphic designers should be able to convey emotions accurately with the use of colors, images and settings. The kind of design that resonates with people on an emotional level tends to be more effective and memorable.

  1. Free design download On May 20th, 2013 at 6:29 am

    No designing is complete without the use of emotions in it.

  1. The Visual Communication Guy On May 31st, 2013 at 11:19 am

    A book graphic designers ought to consult on this subject is Donald Norman’s *Emotional Design*. It more complexly looks at the visceral, behavioral, and reflective responses to design choices. Rather than considering things like happy faces to create happiness, we ought to be considering our audience’s visceral reaction and what in their lives (culture, background, experience) cause them to react that way.

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