When we approach design as a solution to a particular problem we can partner with our target audience (as opposed to taking advantage of them).
Allow your target market to dictate what, when, and how they need you. Using target market research to direct the tools of communication is the most efficient and effective route to success. Branding must approach its audience through the lens of the marketplace and in my years of experience working with large companies to build national brands, the audience has been the best guidance system to solutions that grow a brand's sphere of influence.
Should we use an app or a movie? a pamphlet or billboard? this font or that color? These questions are best informed by the solution itself. What's your message? More importantly: what's your customer's biggest obstacle? Be openminded to an unexpected solution to a common problem.
Diluted from: Running Lean by Ash Maurya
"Listen to the message not the messenger" is a common saying in some circles and I would argue that this stops short of an ideal; the best messengers embody their message so completely that they are forgotten & only the message remains. Just as we can't recall the frames supporting the pieces in an art museum, so too should the stylization (fonts, layout etc) of any visual communication be a natural extension of its purpose. Most often, the words in a piece craft a rationale that requires a designer to aid a viewer's digestion of its content through symbols, imagery, thoughtful formatting etc.
Excerpt from The Crystal Goblet by Beatrice Warde:
"There is nothing simple or dull in achieving the transparent page. Vulgar ostentation is twice as easy as discipline. When you realise that ugly typography never effaces itself; you will be able to capture beauty as the wise men capture happiness by aiming at something else."
A strange friend to many, & a friendly stranger to everyone else.