In our society, we’re surrounded by graphic design. It’s everywhere you look – on billboards while driving down the road, the menu at your favorite restaurant, your phone as you scroll through social media, to pretty much everything in your kitchen pantry. Whether it’s good or bad design, it’s constantly staring you in the face. In fact, graphic design so seemingly fits into our daily routine, often we don’t even notice it. That said, good design can immediately grab our attention with bold “out of the box” concepts. Conversely, bad design can stick out like a sore thumb.
Let’s face it. People are attracted to beautiful things, perceiving them as better, regardless of whether that perception is valid. From dating to online shopping and everything in between, we choose people, products, and services that are eye-catching and appealing. Because we live in a design era, having better products and friendlier customer service are no longer enough to stand out from the competition.
Business is a lot like dating. Think about the first time you went on a date. Either you were impressed…or you just weren’t. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression. If career and dating experts frequently caution people on making a good first impression, it only makes sense that this same rule applies to business.
Adobe stated that design-driven companies have outperformed weakly-designed companies by 219% on the S&P Index (a stock market index) for over 10 years. Additionally, the top companies are leading with design. Others that aren’t willing to invest in design because they think it can’t be measured or tied to ROI will fall behind.
Tyton Media did a survey on web design and found that “48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business.” So good design can lead to trust. If you want your business to be successful, it needs to look the part in order to increase market share.
Obviously design isn’t everything. Once you attract customers through good design, you have to keep them based on quality, merit, customer service, etc. But if you don’t even get their attention, you won’t have the opportunity to impress them with all the great things that set your business apart from the competition.
So what makes for “good” design?
The answer is unique to every business. Designers need to know who they’re trying to reach. Good designs use colors, fonts, and layouts that evoke positive emotions in the people they want to purchase their products and/or services. When a company incorporates visual standards that truly connect with consumers, they’re definitely on the fast track to success.
Another important element is consistency. Once a design has been established, it needs to be reflected throughout your branding. For example, you wouldn’t expect to see a green McDonalds logo or a Mac computer with an icon of an orange.
Many consumers choose a company based on its design, and that’s at least in part, a reason they stay loyal. While every company may need an occasional facelift, if you’re constantly changing design and are inconsistent with your branding, you might lose those faithful customers. Why? They may no longer recognize you as their company.
And if you didn’t already know how important good design is, think about the fact that 90% of all information transmitted to our brains is visual. Plus, people remember 80% of what they see but only 20% of what they read. So it stands to reason that good design is not only memorable, it’s imperative.
Let’s go back to the dating analogy. If you want a lasting relationship with your consumers, remember that there’s no such thing as a second first impression.