Why good graphic design matters for your business

Sushil Tuesday April 21, 2020

Have you ever thought of design as an investment? If not this article will change your perspective about design thinking. I will explain how good graphic design is vital for your business.

Design Council research found that good graphic design can improve sales, profits, turnover, and growth. Using and valuing design brings bottom-line benefits, and those who understand and act on this insight have a competitive edge over the rest.

Few facts:

  • For every £100 a business spends on design, turnover increases by £225.
  • Shares in design-led businesses have outperformed the FTSE 100 by more than 200% over the past decade. 
  • Rapidly growing businesses are nearly six times as likely as static ones to see design as integral. 
  • Businesses that add value through design see a greater impact on business performance than the rest.

Source: Design Council

Rapidly growing startups and businesses value design much more than others. Their enthusiasm and appreciation are sometimes as much as three times greater. In comparison, businesses that have only grown moderately, stayed the same size or even shrunk all place less importance on design.

11 reasons why good design matters
Design is not about good looks

Design is not about good looks

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." -- Steve Jobs

There is a misconception about design that it should look good. People assume that design is about how a product or a particular document or online website looks. 

There is no doubt, a good look is important but it is not the only criterion of judging any design. There is more to design than that. It’s about what the product or brand tries to convey aggregately.

Design is more about how it works, how the product/brand communicates to the audience. A good designer thinks first about how it works than how it looks. Design is a powerful tool for change, not a tool for styling products and communications.

When a designer designs your letterhead, he thinks about your business, your buyer persona, your competitors, what should go on the letterhead, what is more important, what is less important. So your designer’s job is not only to make your flyer, logo, document or website look good. They decide how to present your content to leave the most impact on the minds of the audience.

Good design change customer's perceptions

Good design change customer’s perception

There’s an adage that says “You eat with your eyes”. The same is true for products too. 

A cooking show is a fantastic example of it. If you’ve ever watched a cooking show you probably remember that chefs put a lot of effort into presentation once the dish is ready. They do it because they know we eat with our eyes first. If it doesn’t look good, you will hesitate to try it for sure.

The same goes for product packaging. The design of the package simply determines the buyers' perception of the product before he buys it.

The choice of colors, the message, package design, etc should be under the message that you want your product to convey. If you are marketing a premium coffee, the package should be such that it conveys a sense of luxury, colors like black, brown, golden, etc would work.

You can very easily quantify the ROI on a design by putting two different designed packages on the shelf and see which one sells more. The product is the same, price is the same, the only difference is the packaging. 

Make a good first impression

Make a good first impression

You will never get a second chance to make a good first impression

Only a good design catches the eyes of the viewer in the first few seconds. Supermarkets, online stores, catalogs all are full of products and your product gets only a few milliseconds of attention from the viewer, if the design of your product or package is not good enough, the viewer will overlook it and your chances of selling have lost.

So what is the best way to hold the attention of the viewer, you guessed it right: good design.

Studies have shown that visual appeal can be assessed within about 50 milliseconds. This boils down to the fact that designers have to make a good impression within the space of 50 milliseconds.

Good first impression relates to trustworthiness, builds trust in the eyes of the viewer to explore your product further. Good graphic design is the only way to build an initial impression and trust in the customer.

So it’s a no-brainer that good design catches the viewer’s attention and creates a good first impression.

Plays the role of the differentiator

Plays the role of the differentiator

In the competitive market place, several brands are offering exactly what you do, perhaps in the same price range, with the same benefits, etc. So, what can set you apart from your competition?

Yes, a sleek design.

Let’s take an example of shampoo brands that are similar in prices and have similar functions but the label designs are very different. One label is aesthetically pleasing than the other. Chances are your hand will go towards the brand which looks interesting.

“Human beings have an attractiveness bias; we perceive beautiful things as being better, regardless of whether they are better. All else being equal, we prefer beautiful things, and we believe beautiful things function better. As in nature, the function can follow form.”

Steven Bradley

“At Sony, we assume all products of our competitors will have the same technology, price, performance, and features. Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplace!”

Nono Ohga, Chairman and CEO of Sony

So, throw some design at your business and see what sticks. Get opinions, get feedback, be experimental. The game aims to make people point out your product from a shelf of competitors, to entice them to click through to your website because it looks different and appealing. A little design can go a long way.

 

Capitalize on trends

Trends are ubiquitous, they come and go. This applies to design too. Some certain styles and techniques are really popular for some time. If you keep your eye open and get aware of upcoming trends in designs can help you capitalize on these trends, thus keeping your brand fresh and shiny.

Let’s check on a graphic design trend in 2020. Typography is among the top design trends and expected to flourish in the coming years.

Designers are working on typography to create innovative and modern designs. 

Artistic typography is the perfect solution to get the attention of viewers. It stands out with the combination of maxi typography which was in trend in 2019. 

Speaking of maxi typography, the trend has certainly proved as a stable one and we’ll keep seeing it. In fact, in the coming years, maxi typography will be so maxi that designers will split the words into multiple lines.

In the current trend – the thicker, the better. 

When it comes to thickness, the rule is Heavy fonts and lettering are already flooding the world of graphic design. We see them everywhere in logos, on posters, on web designs, and even on package design.

Motivate people to take action

Motivate people to take action

Have you seen “Call now!”, “Download it today!”, “Try it for one month at no cost!”

What emotion does it provoke? 

It provokes urgency to take action, that’s why they are called ‘Call to Action’.

A famous call to action was Nike’s JUST DO IT. This CTA dates back to 1988 and is known worldwide. The campaign helped Nike improve its North American sport-shoe share from 18% to 43% in one decade.

In times of stress, as we’ve seen from other examples, the best instructions are simple ones. Sometimes we need to hear: “just do it.”

As an athlete, hearing that phrase evokes stillness and confidence in your mind. So when you’re buying shoes, picturing your competition, and hearing that phrase, it feels right.

Let’s look at one more famous CTA by Basecamp.

Basecamp.com

‘Give Basecamp a Try’

Everything about the project management software platform Basecamp is designed with ease in mind. From the style and tone of its website copy to its minimal, approachable design, Basecamp intends to simplify life for project managers everywhere.

Basecamp’s call to action is another variation of a tried-and-true CTA – the free trial – but features some subtle, and effective, differences:

Basecamp’s CTA is effective because it simultaneously reinforces the risk-free nature of the free trial while using casually persuasive language. “Give Basecamp a try” is a lot less intimidating than something more direct such as “Start Free Trial Now.”

The CTA’s diction almost suggests a blasé attitude – sort of like, “What’s the worst that could happen?” This is precisely what Basecamp is trying to achieve, as they’re so confident that users will try (and subsequently love) the product, they don’t need to make an aggressive pitch with a potentially confrontational CTA. Very clever.

A call to action is a super useful tool that is given to you when you invest in producing good design. Motivate your audience to take action and click that button, buy that product, share that image – whatever your goal is, convince them to take a step forward by pairing enticing types and even more enticing designs.

Brand recognition

Brand recognition

Brand recognition is one of two components of brand awareness. The other component is the brand recall. Brand recognition is exactly what it sounds like: the ability of a consumer to recognize one brand over other brands. In other words, consumers can identify your product by its attributes and design elements. Design elements include such things as shape, color, illustrations, and graphics.

Source: Study.com

To break it down, your company’s brand image all starts with a fantastic logo. (Brand recognition).

Your logo design needs to be created with your target audience in mind as well as representing your company attractively and professionally.

It will also have to work across a range of print and digital media including business cards, brochures, and websites.

To do this, you will need an exceptional graphic design.

Your company’s total brand image starts with a great logo and expands to every aspect of your business. The design needs to target your audience in a way that is functional, attractive, and professional. Your brand should provide an instant connection to the outstanding products and services that you offer, and you need an excellent graphic design to forge that kind of connection.

Good design increases your sales

Good design increases your sales

Ignoring your organization’s graphic design needs can negatively impact clients, vendors, and employees. Utilizing an appropriate design can improve every aspect of your business. 

If you go for a cheap design, it looks cost effective initially but it is more expensive in the long term. With the cheap design, you might get a lackluster design that is not ready for print or display digitally and you again have to spend money on iterations or creating new designs.

A competent graphic designer will create a design that is not too expensive to produce. It’s easy to print and looks awesome digitally. 

In businesses where design is integral to operations, over three quarters say they’ve increased their competitiveness and turnover through design. Businesses that see design as integral don’t need to compete on price as much as others. Where design is integral, less than half of businesses compete mainly on price, compared to two-thirds of those who don’t use design. 

Turnover growth is more likely for businesses that increase their investment in design. Conversely, those that decreased investment cut their chances of growth. According to the Design Council - Two-thirds of UK businesses believe that design is integral to future economic performance.

People tend to be attracted to uniquely designed products. The quality of design delivers a message indirectly in their minds when they see a unique logo design, business card, and other such designs. This indirect message says that maybe the company owning the design delivers high-quality products or services.

Graphic designs have a lot to do with the steady growth of the company. Good graphic designs project that the company is a trustworthy brand and helps to bring people closer to the businesses' time and again.

Enhance content visibility

Enhance content visibility

The whole purpose of graphics is to make the content stand out with the help of some design. A good graphic designer will make every effort to make your content understandable clearly and effectively. The graphic design should be so good that the customer’s attention goes straight to the content and not to the design, colors, etc.

A good graphic designer can even enhance the readability of your content that you generate to grab the attention of an audience. The designer does this by picking appropriate typefaces, colors, images, etc.

You give out product information through ads, flyers, newsletters, company websites, etc. Simple design, clear layout, and a good UI go on to play a major role in determining whether or not your users consume the information that you present. Keep your content short and crisp and your layout simple so your content is simple and easy to skim through.

Drives conversion and increase ROI

Drives conversion and increase ROI

In the 'Experience Economy’ we live in, the great design allows companies to charge A LOT more for products and services. So design can be measured in terms of “purchase influence” and emotional impact.

As stated previously, graphic designing is not just about images and looks, it’s the combination of content and design. Graphics is everywhere in business. Website, ad campaigns, flyers, brochures, restaurant menu, product packaging, etc. all are product design.

A good website does not just look good but also has easy navigation and a great UI. People will only click on ads that attract their eyes and capture their minds with the right message.

Like small children which gravitate towards certain boxes of cereals or biscuits because they have cartoons and catchy packaging. Similarly, flyers, brochures, and menus all serve to tantalize the customer’s senses and urge them to take the desired action. This drives conversions, sales and therefore ROI.

Improve communication

Improve communication

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

This old proverb tells a lot about the importance of design in communication. A good graphic design helps you to visualize your message without words. 

Here are some pictures which speak louder than words:

 

Source: Talepost.com

The usefulness of graphic design extends beyond your logo and your website. Graphic design can produce visual aids that will help you communicate your ideas. An informative image can transmit ideas that cannot be expressed with words alone. You can use professionally designed images to create a positive impression and avoid misunderstandings.

Bringing It All Together

Design is a good business decision. Spread the word!

Good design gives you a competitive edge, drives powerful marketing results and allows you to stand out.

Graphics are an inherent part of your business. It is what differentiates your brand from other businesses in the market. It tells the audience what your business is and what they can expect from you.

If you want your audience to remember you in a good way, you’ve got to make a strong impression. And how do you do that? You guessed it – a strong brand identity. Create attractive designs that effectively portray your business to your customers.

Get help from professional graphic designers and avail of our customizable Graphic Designing Services to nail your brand identity.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Your Unlimited Graphic Design Service

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