Most people have a vague notion of what graphic design is and what a graphic designer can do for their business.
All of these answers are correct. Designers do all of these things — but they’re only elements of a much bigger picture.
So what is graphic design?
Graphic design is everywhere you look. Stop for a moment and take in your surroundings. Your morning juice carton, the coffee or tea packaging, the poster on the bus and even the process of ordering an Uber.
Graphic design is far more than just making pretty pictures. The most important part of the design process happens before you even put pen to paper. It begins with good communication skills, as designers must be able to understand and interpret client needs. They must listen, research, develop concepts, and find the balance between aesthetics and function.
So, what is graphic design? Merging creativity with strategy, communication with brand knowledge, and aesthetic with logic, design is just about everything you see — and it matters. It matters to businesses and it matters to consumers and customers. And that’s why you should pay top dollar for it.
Here’s just a few reasons you should invest in graphic design.
Research by The Design Council in 2005 found companies that put an emphasis on design did way better than the ones that didn’t. It determined that for every £100 a company spent on visual design, be it in marketing or a product or service, there was an increase of £225 in turnover. Since, various studies, such as this one, have shown the same thing. So good design is an investment.
Strong Web Design = Trust
In today’s super connected world, just about every business is online in some form. Quite often, most people’s first encounter with a new business is via their website. If you add in the fact that many businesses are solely online, the impression your website leaves your audience with is more important than ever.
Poorly designed and unintuitive websites are simply not read, visited, or trusted. The main culprit is often poor interface design (how a user engages with the content), and this quickly creates a feeling of mistrust.
First Impressions matter
Once you’ve lost one potential customer, it’s much harder to get them back. Whether it’s a website, a logo, or the content of an email signature, potential customers will judge a business in just a few seconds based on visual appeal alone. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Good design converts
An eye-catching poster or slick website is nice to have, but a poster or website that converts is even better. Design isn’t just about making things look pretty. Effective design should entice and persuade. A smartly designed website can direct visitors to take action, like clicking a “buy” button for instance. A well-crafted leaflet compels readers to keep turning pages. Professional graphic design has the potential to deliver measurable results for all businesses.
High-quality graphic design gives businesses credibility—and that’s priceless. No matter how great a product or service may be, with poor design, it’s unlikely anyone will stick around to become a customer or advocate of the business.
Invest in good quality graphic design
When businesses don’t take graphic design seriously in the beginning, they will more than likely go through a design overhaul eventually—in some cases, more than once. Quality design, however, has longevity. Paying for great graphic design one time is far less expensive than paying for subpar design multiple times.
So the next time your business is reviewing the cost of good quality graphic design – and perhaps considers the options of doing it in-house, or cutting corners – remember that effective and engaging graphic design comes at a price. If you pay peanuts, you might just get monkeys!