The Essential Character of Communication

Back when I was a student and deciding what course to pursue, I always knew that being a Communication Designer wasn’t essential work and if the end of the world came (or a COVID-19 pandemic), my skill set would certainly not be the first response to save lives - or will it?

One of the discipline subjects during my uni course was Information Systems and my teacher Pedro Almeida was instrumental in introducing to us the true value of Communication Design; he explained that the right communication at the right time can be the difference between a casualty and a survivor. Think about it - if you can’t find the emergency exit sign because it was set in the wrong format and hidden from sight, how will you know where to run?



In an emergency situation such as the one we live in today, where safety is paramount, making sure you and your loved ones are safe leaves little room to make any other major life-changing decisions. This has a physical explanation: when you’re in fight-flight-or-freeze response mode, your internal nervous system creates a stress response that prepares you to make a quick judgement call to ensure your survival and a knee-jerk reaction isn’t always the wisest (which explains all the bizarre toilet roll hoarding) but it is the one that, in your ‘quick browse’ perception, ensures that you will get through this in one piece.

This is where the Communication Design role is key; by understanding how to organise and display information to address the needs of short attention-spans wisely, we make sure that people capture the relevant information first.



Of course, this Design awareness is a constant need in everything that we, as a Marketing Agency, produce for our Clients on a daily basis; from concepts through to branding, printed materials all the way to websites, presentations or even adverts. Only now we have the added challenge of making sure our clients’ products really stand out from the crowd in a social-distancing context, where digital landscape is key and the risk of becoming unseen is higher than ever before.



And by no means do we want to compare ourselves against the amazing heroic efforts of our NHS medical staff that are in the frontline risking their own lives to save others. But, as part of the team that provides information to our client’s clients, we are equally in the frontline and we cannot stop either. We need to make sure we provide relevant quality content and a call’s notice, and it’s not an easy feat with the decrease in investment because keeping highly qualified professionals on call doesn’t come cheap. This is, however, a compromise we’re not willing to make - our Clients deserve the best, and we will strive to provide it to them during this difficult period for us all.

Whether you’re a client or have just found out about us, we want to reassure you and let you know that all of us at Austin Marketing, whether we’re at the office or working from home, want to make sure that our Clients are the first to find the emergency exit out of this pandemic in one piece.


Joana Alves,
Communication Designer and Director at Austin Marketing