Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” A good graphic designer understands that fonts, colors and images are merely resources for telling a story. When used correctly, those resources not only catch your eye, but also convey valuable information, such as your company’s mission, vision and purpose. Unfortunately, most businesses notoriously undervalue graphic design, or worse, they think it holds no value at all. If you’re a small business owner, here are five reasons why good graphic design matters, and why it should hold a prominent place in your marketing plan.
First Impressions Count
Did you know that most people form an opinion about a webpage in less than 50 milliseconds? That’s not much time to grab someone’s attention and make them feel something about your brand. And, out of all the design elements on a page, it’s the company logo that draws the most attention from visitors. Get this wrong and you may not get a second chance to win their trust. Good graphic design not only ensures your logo looks professional, but also clearly shows who you are as a company. With such a small window of time to convert a visitor into a loyal customer, don’t leave your logo design to an amateur.
Good Graphic Design Tells Your Story
An image, logo or social media graphic can quickly give a snapshot of your company’s story. That’s because good graphic designers are not simply artists; they are information designers who make the complex easy to understand. That takes talent and experience, something many of us lack when it comes to good graphic design. To ensure your story is heard loud and clear, enlist the help of an experienced graphic designer who understands your mission, vision and values.
Nothing is more confusing to potential customers than seeing inconsistent messaging from a brand. You may think it’s cool to have a different look for your company on social media platforms and another one for your print publications, but it’s doing more harm than good. At every touch point, online and offline, your brand needs to be telling the same story and delivering the same messaging. Good graphic design can help keep your branding consistent by creating guidelines that require everyone to use the same fonts, colors, tone and voice. Consistency builds trust and makes your brand feel more dependable. And once consumers feel they know who you are as a company, they are more likely to purchase from you and recommend you to others.
Drive Social Engagement
Social media is one of the best platforms to not only find new customers, but also develop a loyal fan following. And the best way to do that is through good graphic design. Everything from your cover art to your social posts should quickly help consumers identify your brand. Make sure your images are visually interesting, but follow brand guidelines. Create shareable content, such as infographics and memes, that help expand your brand’s reach outside of your established follower base. Above all else, make sure your story is front and center.
Stand Out for the Crowd
What does a stock image, a website template and a doctor’s waiting room all have in common? They’re boring! Good graphic design is never ordinary or cookie-cutter. It takes a skilled designer to create memorable, unique logos, well-designed webpages, and marketing pieces that can stand out from the crowd. Bad design, however, can make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. The Arlington Pediatric Center, for example, received so much bad press from their original logo that it was promptly redesigned. Notice how the image on the left contained a suggestive image that was sending all the wrong messages to its core audience – parents. The new logo (on right), is creative and clearly represents the services they offer.
Don’t leave your company’s public image to chance. Be sure graphic design is a part of your marketing strategy and that all company employees follow your brand guidelines. When done correctly, good graphic design not only helps your company stand out for the right reasons, but also helps it succeed.