For businesses, design serves as an important tool in marketing. Marketing materials utilize design to compete with other businesses to gain customers and make money. If you're an entrepreneur who's also juggling the tasks of a marketer and graphic designer for your business, then you need to know these five important facts about design.
1. Good design must be utilized across all aspects.
When we talk about good design in the context of business, we're generally discussing graphic design. It's used to convey information using pictures, text and other graphical elements. Usually, the discussion would highlight items such as packaging and business cards. In other words, items that are relevant to you as a business owner in marketing your business.
But now that the world of marketing has evolved, there are many other things to consider. You have to work with websites, newsletters, blogs, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and a bunch of other platforms where you have a brand presence on. These things require and benefit from good design, and the design principles used are more or less the same.
You can't have a great website but design your brochures using Microsoft Word. Inserting WordArt isn't going to cut it. So if you want your brand to be multidimensional, each aspect must use good design in order to work properly.
2. Good design is a norm, not an exception.
If you don't practice good design, your business will stand out. And not in a good way! With the advent of technology, it's easier than ever to learn about design and find inspiration from works all over the world. Business owners who recognize its importance find that it's easier to build a reputable brand when it looks respectable and trustworthy.
Why is this so? Good design implies that you care enough about your business to invest the time, money and energy into making it look good. The aesthetics allow customers to presume that your brand is a brand of quality. When there's so many options for them to choose from in any particular industry, customers do judge by appearances.
In fact, the next time you get a brochure, flyer or any other promotional materials, try keeping one and analyze it. Would you consider buying the products/services? If not, why? Most of the time, it's hard for us to put a finger on what makes it untrustworthy. We can only say that it doesn't look right.
3. The main purpose of good design is to communicate, not to attract.
When we want to attract customers' attention, we're always advised to do something fancy with our packaging. Or business cards. Or pictures. In other words, we're told to attract their attention using design. But is that all it's for?
Design in business has to be aesthetically pleasing and practical. When you design something, you will have money and space constraints. So it's of high-level importance that your design is able to communicate your message effectively, not just be pretty.
If the design looks good but customers can't actually understand what's going on, then it has failed. For example, you may want to say that you have a new product or a new store. If they don't get that from the design, you'd be losing customers as well as money.
4. Good design doesn't just communicate words.
Good design is more than just putting a few choice words and decorating around it. Words are hugely important, but you also have the opportunity to influence emotion and convey your brand personality.
These things aren't stated by the design, but are understood subtly and subconsciously by the human mind. For example, a person might feel excited looking at a concert poster. Can you imagine the same level of excitement if the concert details are just printed in black on a piece of white paper?
Good design can convey your brand personality by making use of consistent elements like typography and colours. All businesses can benefit from consistency, because it creates a recognizable pattern and makes everything look cohesive. Your customers will be able to recognize your brand across multiple platforms.
5. Good design is possible for everyone.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But fortunately for us, communication is something else. Humans have scientifically-established patterns in interacting with design. The various studies analyzing the relationship of design and psychology have allowed experts to come up with design principles that are easy to understand and implement in our businesses.
For example, web designers take advantage of common eye movements by designing website layouts accordingly. By putting important information in places where the eyes would normally go, the risk that the important information is overlooked will be decreased. Another of the easiest design principle to use is colour psychology. If you choose the correct colours for your message, the impact will be much greater to the reader.
Once you know what message you want to send to your customer, choosing design principles to use will be simple and intuitive. Design principles should aid you in delivering that message, not make the design complicated.
It may seem a little awkward, but I'm gonna end the blog post with the definition of design. Design is to intend for a specific purpose. As with other aspects of your business, being intentional with design helps you create the right results. There's no room to be indifferent to what you put out, not when it's a proven tool in growing your business. If you're serious about your business, then you should also be serious about design.
Which design fact is the most interesting to you?