Google is Leveling the Playing Field of Web Design

Google Web Designer and the Future of Brand Creation

Google recently released a free graphic design application called Google Web Designer.

And here at Resound, we think it’ll be a game changer.

I have yet to play with it in full detail but my first impression is that this is a great program for anyone wanting to create simple banner ads and graphics for their website. And it even has some basic animation features to give your graphics some movement. Overall I dig it.

But the most amazing part of this software: it’s free. This means anyone, ANYONE, can create graphics at zero cost.

With the release of this program Google has officially gotten in the ring with the biggest design software giant in the world: Adobe. Let the battle commence.

What’s really interesting is that this is not some pie-in-the-sky or novelty or errant move on Google’s part. This makes total business sense (as far as I can see).

Google’s primary (and perhaps only money-making) venture is advertising. Nearly every product they create (Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Analytics) is directly or indirectly funded through online ads.

And there is no doubt that their platforms are international in scale. They are selling advertising not just to giant international businesses and mom-and-pop shops on USA Main Street. But they are now selling ads to small and medium-sized businesses across the world.

From Germany to India to Egypt to South Africa, Google is everywhere. And what’s stopping more businesses across the world from buying online ads?

  1. They’re not online. They don’t have a website to advertise.
  2. They don’t have the budget to create ads.

So what does Google do? Give free software for anyone to create a website design or banner ad? Oh and you can make those ads animated.

To quote my favorite line from Community: “Cool. Cool cool cool.”

For good or for bad, welcome to the future: everyone’s a creator—literally everyone, across the world.

So what does this mean for small businesses and non-profits here in the U. S. of A.?

  1. Creating for your brand has never been easier. Anyone in your organization with the aptitude, will, and time can create an online ad or social media graphic.
  2. The need for brand guidelines has never been greater. As organizations bring more of their visual creative processes in-house the need for consistency and wholeness to the visual output increases exponentially. Mary, the receptionist might be able to work some design software and have a knack for design fundamentals but without a solid understanding of the brand’s purspose and personality (and how those work out visually and verbally), the work she creates will likely devolve into visual clichés or her own personal style. And as Joe and Ralph add their own banner ads and powerpoint graphics to the mix—also lacking central guidance—their work will add to the visual cacophony and confusion. Customers, clients, members, and employees will have an increasingly harder time feeling the unique passion and personality of the brand. Strategic, well-thought-out guidelines are a must to counter this slide into anonymity.
  3. The need for uniqueness and excellent execution has never been higher. If everyone (including all your competitors’ employees, spouses, cousins, and pet chihuahuas) is a creator the quantity of creative works will skyrocket all around you. So how do you stand out? The barrier is no longer the ability to create at all. The barrier is now the ability (and budget) to come up with truly remarkable ideas—and execute with excellence.

    And you have to do it consistently, over and over again. Your brand cannot be a one-hit wonder. In today’s noisy, cluttered, digital world “virality” means little. A flash-in-the-pan will not sustain you for years, or even months. It’s not about swinging for the fences (and thus striking out a lot). It’s about hitting singles and doubles every time you walk up to the plate. Don’t be an Adam Dunn. Be an Ichiro.

So are you ready to guide your brand into the new creative world order? Yes? We’d love to help.