If you’re unsure of what graphic design entails, see The Lowdown On Graphic Design.
Good, professional graphic design really does matter and unfortunately a lot of small businesses notoriously underestimate the power it holds. Why do we find it so important? It can make you stand out, it can make you memorable, it can build trust and it can save you money in the long run.
01. First Impressions Matter
We may hate to admit it, but first impressions matter. Whether it’s a website or a logo or brochure, consumers are paying attention. Do your color choices scream “dated”? Does your font choice look like it was written by a 6-year-old? Are your images pixilated? Do you only have one logo file with that white background that you just can’t figure out how to make transparent? Are you attracting the audience you want? If you want to be taken seriously, you need to have a consistent, professional look. Potential customers can make a decision in a matter of seconds based on visual appeal alone. How many times have you scrolled through Netflix and stopped to look at a show based solely on the fact that the image looked interesting? I know I have. If you went to a restaurant and the presentation of your meal was completely unappetizing, you would probably send it back without even trying it, right? No matter how great your product or service is, poor design can keep people away— and no matter how hard you market yourself. Especially in today’s society, if your business simply doesn’t look appealing, you’re chasing consumers away. A company’s visual communication plan should be a top priority. It’s up to you to keep your audience engaged, but the right design speaks directly to your targeted consumers and consistent design helps build trust.
02. The Numbers Game
So, maybe you’re the type that’s more interested in numbers. A group called The Design Council studied 63 portfolios of companies that traded on the Financial Times Stock Exchange over the course of a decade. What they discovered was that the companies that put an emphasis on design outperformed the ones that didn’t – by 200%!
03. Web Design: Aesthetics vs. Content
Another study discovered that strong website design leads to consumer trust. A website is often the very first interaction someone has with your company and a lot of businesses nowadays are based 100% online, so if your potential costumer is having difficulty reading, understanding or navigating your website, expect rejection. “Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website,” the study states. “In cases where the participants did not like some aspect of the design the site was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable for revisiting at a later date…” And while you might have great content, 94% of the reason the participants abandoned a site was based purely on design, while only 6% was related to content.
04. Design is Memorable
Of course, a good product and customer service definitely help, but if we’re focusing on the surface, design makes a brand memorable. Have you ever forgotten the name of a business but you remembered what their packaging looked like or what their colors were? We often use visual cues to base our memories and experiences off of. Having trouble explaining something? Create a chart that shows just what you mean! Want to evoke a certain feeling? Say it with color! Studies have shown that color plays a huge role in what we remember and how vividly we remember it and how we feel when see it.
05. Design Sets You Apart
We’ve all been guilty of choosing a product or service just because it looks nicer. When it comes down to similar prices and functions, we tend to go with the more aesthetically pleasing option, simple as that. Remember the saying “you eat with your eyes first?” Same principal applies here.
06. Target and Motivate the Right Audience
Design is an extremely useful communication tool. It can attract your target audience and motivate them to take action. But to that end, it has to be pointed at the right group, in the right way. Say your target audience is between the ages of 13 and 17 years old: you wouldn’t design something that looks like it’s for a 6-year-old, would you? Design not only makes your product/business more appealing to your target, it also entices them to learn more: “call now!” “try it today!” A message is only effective if it is in front of the people you want to speak to, and a call to action is what will attract them to you further.
Bad design can actually cost your business more money in the long run. Yikes! Not something any business owner wants to hear. If you go for a cheap/do-it-yourself design, you might get a product/result that’s not ready for print and doesn’t serve it’s intended purpose. You might attract the wrong audience. Consumers notice good design and they choose it consistently, it’s that simple. And if you’re not gaining new customers, you’re losing money.