Although some people don’t like to think of it as such, the health and wellness industry is one giant business. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Without companies, hospitals, and healthcare tech corporations moving forward and meeting the needs of individuals each day, our healthcare system wouldn’t be able to keep up with patient needs or come up with any new advancements.
Because the industry needs to keep growing, especially as products and services become more digital, marketing and design need to be prioritized.
If you’re a graphic designer in the health and wellness industry, keeping up with changes, noticing trends, and creating accessible content are essential. No one should be confused by a healthcare design or logo. Important healthcare info shouldn’t be difficult to read or inaccessible for those with disabilities. Instead, it should provide them with a sense of comfort and security.
So, how can you make sure you’re staying on top of all of the best practices for graphic design in the health and wellness industry? Let’s take a look at a few of those practices so you can reevaluate your current designs and make changes as necessary.
One of the most important responsibilities you have as a graphic designer in the health industry is combating misinformation. Nowadays, it’s so easy for people to believe everything they read online or even hear from a friend. We saw how problematic that can be throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, when misinformation was spread rapidly, causing confusion and frustration across the country.
Unfortunately, it’s not social media or personal relationships that end up taking the blame for misinformation — it’s often the health and wellness industry itself. That’s why truth in advertising is essential to combat misformation. Whether you’re designing a website, brochure, or advertisement for supplements or services, it’s essential to go above and beyond the basics of what might look good.
People need to know exactly what to expect when it comes to a healthcare product, service, or recommendation so they can make the best decisions for themselves without feeling confused or overwhelmed. As you’re designing something, make sure to focus on things like:
- An explanation of the science behind the service/product/recommendation;
- Any potential risks;
- Historical significance;
- Quotes or testimonials from medical professionals.
It’s not always easy to insert a lot of wordy information into an advertisement when you’re trying to make it look good, but that’s part of the challenge and part of the fun. People will appreciate the information much more than a minimalist design that provides them with very little clarity.
The Importance of Accessibility
It’s a good rule of thumb as a graphic designer to practice universal design in everything you do. However, it’s especially important in health-related industries. Some people might be looking for products or services that have disabilities, have mobility issues, or are neurodivergent. The latter simply means their brain doesn’t process things in what is considered to be the “normal” way.
By creating designs that are accessible to everyone, you could be opening up a new world for those with vision impairments, hearing problems, or mobility differences — as well as those who are neurodiverse. For example, if you’re designing an inclusive website, some universal design features to put in place might include:
- Keyboard navigation;
- Structured content that is easy to read;
- Focus states;
- Alt text for images;
- Appropriate color contrast.
Obviously, you might not be in charge of every aspect of a healthcare company’s website design, but do what you can when it comes to content structure, color, and images to make sure everyone feels comfortable and confident when visiting that particular site.
These same rules apply to any type of advertisement or design project you’re working on. That includes a company logo. This is one area where the minimalist trend could be perfect. A healthcare logo shouldn’t be “loud” or confusing. It should be accessible and understood by everyone who sees it while still giving enough information.
Whether you’re designing a logo, crafting a website, or putting together an informative brochure for a hospital waiting room, you have to consider every potential person who could be looking at those things. If something is too confusing, hard to navigate or see, or frustrating to read, people will move on. That could lose whatever company you’re working for a lot of business, and they could be missing out on large chunks of their target audience. More importantly, it could deter certain people away from getting the help they need and deserve.
Why Graphic Design Matters in the Health and Wellness Industry
As a graphic designer, you would probably argue that what you do matters in just about every industry. However, it’s especially important in health and wellness, because it can end up being the first impression people make about a particular service, product, or facility. It can tell a story and offer each person an idea of what to expect from a particular brand so they feel comfortable using it.
With that in mind, if you’re designing anything for a health and wellness company, it’s necessary to keep those ideas at the forefront of everything you do. Ask yourself:
- What kind of message does the company want to convey?
- Who is their ideal client?
- Do they want to focus more on letting their clients know they care or that they have years of experience?
Don’t be afraid to do your research when it comes to the best colors often used for health and wellness. They’re effective for a reason. Some of the most commonly used include:
These colors are often muted. They’re cool and calm and can give people a sense of tranquility. Focus on color psychology to send a clear message, and consider mixing different warm and cool tones that mesh together well to create a welcoming message for new patients or potential customers.
As you can see, graphic design in the health and wellness industry is about more than simply creating something that looks good. It’s about catering to people’s needs and developing a design that encourages them to feel comfortable with different types of care. Whether you’re putting together a healthcare website for a local practitioner or designing a billboard for a major pharmaceutical company, the rules remain the same. Put yourself in the shoes of the average health and wellness consumer, focus on messaging, and make sure you’re designing everything with inclusivity in mind.