The title says it all.

The phrase “it’s subjective” is a very dangerous phrase because it allows you to step in front of yourself and completely derail a strong, planned-out, strategic visual campaign. When that happens, fingers are pointed, and words are exchanged. Subjectivity is a luxury the audience can afford but not you. You’ve got a business to run. So, what makes art subjective?

When people look at art, they interpret it. Your customers look at the colors, the shapes, and the subject, and they project their own emotions and ideas onto it, creating a subjective opinion. And that’s what we want them to do. That’s what makes art such an interesting medium. If you insert the things only you think are important it won’t work. The customer doesn’t care about the same things you do.

Your artist did not pick the colors, the shapes, and the subject subjectively. They made their decisions consciously and objectively for the purpose of drawing attention. And they do it using an invisible ally.

That invisible ally is composition. Composition is extremely important when creating any type of artwork. Think of composition as the framework for a house: you can’t see it, but without it, the house will collapse. Only when you have the framework can you start adding the brick and mortar — or in this case, colors and shapes. Composition provides a blueprint that informs the artist what the artwork will look like and where objects and elements should be placed.

Now you see all the subtle nuances and work that goes into creating the underlying structure of a composition. We didn’t even touch on color theory and shape language! Now you have a better understanding that art is, in fact, objective, and any subjective inferences of the art means that it is a good piece of art.

Good composition is what creates intrigue, and in the right hands, it has the power to draw and direct your eye. In the art world, this is called engagement: how long is someone looking at it. The more time someone spends looking at your images on Facebook, Instagram, or your website, the better it is for you. That’s why when you make decisions based on what you like, you’re only speaking to yourself, and you lose your customer’s engagement.

To apply this to your business:

Here are a few questions you can ask of the people or companies you hire to create your visual assets.

  1. Explain the composition. Why did you put the elements where they are?
  2. How do they expect a prospect or customer to engage with it?
  3. Do you think it could be done better?
  4. Who is the target audience?
  5. Ask yourself, does this design fit what I need? And not what I want?

Do you remember that sentence, subjectivity comes from inference and opinion; objectivity comes from knowledge and understanding? Good art is objectively created to allow you to form an opinion in your own mind, and subjectivity comes from that opinion. You may or may not agree with anything I’ve said here, but that’s okay. You’re the audience, and you have that luxury.

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