How to Design for a Local Audience? This is a two part series on designing for a local business. Part 1 is about how to research before starting a design. Part 2 is about basic website features you should have in your local business website.

When you are designing for a global audience, the work needs to be greatly neutralised and generalised to appeal to a broader audience. However, when you are going local, the story is completely different.

I’m a firm believer that when it comes to a local business, creating fantastic content that resonates with that local customer is key to success of a business. How to make that website or that packaging more relatable to your local audience?

Airpop packaging design

Why is Designing for a local audience important?

Caution needs to be taken while designing for a global market, even more while designing for a local audience. But local design needs to be much more targeted and researched.

Think about this.

What would you rather buy from? A business that has clear, relatable values and or a generic business?

  • When your target audience visits your website, they should immediately know you are local business who gets them.
  • When a person picks up a product at the hypermarket, they should immediately be able to relate to the values of the product.

Design ideas for local business

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How does one design for a local audience?

1. Know your audience

You need to really step into the shoes of your end user. Find out who the target customers are, what their life is like, when they would need the services of your local business.

I am a big fan of user journey mapping. Talk to your client and get as many details as you can. Conduct a survey if possible. Here is an example of a user journey map for a customer that wants to buy headphones.

Customer journey map lucidchart

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Takeaway: You need to research your demographic and find the best design for their business

2. Colours and cultures

The meaning behind each colour differs so much from culture to culture. Western, Far Eastern, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African cultures have stark differences in the symbolism of colors within their cultures.

For instance, in some cultures, white represents innocence, but in others, it can represent death. So it is most important to pick the right colour palette for your website, logo or packaging design.

In Eastern and Asian cultures Red is the color of happiness, joy and celebration. It is often the color worn by brides on their wedding day because it is thought to bring luck, long life and happiness. It is also a color often associated with Chinese restaurants in India, because of the associations with luck and happiness. Specifically in India, the color relates to purity and in Japan it is associated with life, but also anger or danger.

Logo design for tomato paints

If you want to connect strongly with a local community, you could build your brand colours around that of their local sports team. This will connect you immediately with the audience who are dedicated members of the sport.

Takeaway: Colors carry deep meanings with them in every culture.

3. Add familiar symbols to the design

Different localities have different motifs/ symbols/ emblems/ trademarks that carry deep meaning. Using these elements in your design can help establish an instant connection with the local audience.

For example: Recently I worked on a project for a company that wanted to launch a range of masala and spices range in Tamil Nadu, India.

We designed their logo using Tamil language after creating a custom stylish typography and added all the cultural elements to form the letter “Ah” in Tamil.

Add symbols to design

Takeaway: Visual marks establish instant connection.

That’s all for this article. In part two, I will talk about the basic features that a local business website should have.


Written by Shweta

Shweta is a design enthusiast. She likes to share tips and tricks to make designs easily reachable for anyone!