Design must not be an afterthought as it is central to marketing and business success…
One afternoon, a few years ago, a 13-year old Boy Scout took a winter hike with his troop in the mountains of New York and looked up at the leafless tree branches, thought about the spiral, veiny design when the leaves are present and figured mother-nature must know something about solar power that man-made solar panels could use. He went on to tinker with a new design for solar panels that, inspired by the tree branches, generated a superior amount of electricity than average. The young entrepreneur has since applied for a patent, all because he looked up and took inspiration from design all around us that is often taken for granted.
Design is everywhere, but not all design is great. It is easy to take the importance of design for granted, even though someone, somewhere has put thought into it from impressively complex functional designs such as that of the hiking Boy Scout, to art and slogans that adorn higher-end products, to the simplest label on the bottle of water sitting on your desk.
If you own a business, taking design for granted can be a pricey mistake in a digital age that bombards your target audience with competing images of varying quality. On the other hand, therein lies a prime opportunity for you to make sure that your design is so striking that your competitors’ attempts for attention, visually, fade to gray in comparison.
Erik Schwartz, owner of Minuteman Press in Turnersville, NJ, helps his clients understand that they are communicating more than a company name and contact information when they are designing images to represent their businesses. They are eliciting an emotional response, too; and a great design delivers a crystal-clear message as well as a positive emotional response to these crucial encounters with your brand. In his words, “Design allows people to communicate properly. Great design brings a clear message and good feelings to people with whom you do business.”
You get what you pay for and what you get in terms of design needs to be GREAT
When new business owners head out into the market, they lead with a logo and accompanying digital and printed representations of their business. From the nature and quality of your design, your business is judged immediately. All of us judge a book by its cover, even though we like to say that we don’t. You’re business is out there to be judged by it’s “cover” in the form of business cards, brochures, promotional products, websites and the various other ways you print and upload visual images intended to communicate what you offer to your clients.
To do it right, you can start by avoiding online stores that promote absurdly cheap logo and business card design packages, lest your objective is to look absurd and cheap. When you’re new to business ownership, you invest a great deal of energy and money into your location, equipment and set-up. It is of equal importance to invest appropriately in the design of your logo and all accompanying visuals so that your essential marketing efforts are strengthened by a professional (not an amateur) look.
Minuteman Press franchisee Greg Duffey (Norwalk, CT) represents the best of the best among design, marketing and digital printing so necessary for those wishing to take the development of their business ventures seriously. If you wish to make public perception the number-one priority it needs to be in order to have a chance to grow in a lucrative way, a great design is paramount. Greg explains, “Design is incredibly important, all the time. We are often thanked for a piece looking beautiful, and we often remark that beauty starts in the design. We can do a great job on a great looking piece and it will be well received. We can do that same great job on a poorly designed piece and it will get bad reviews. Bad printing can ruin a good design. But a bad design will always be bad, despite the efforts of the printer.”
Greg touches on the advent of desktop software that has encouraged an increase in rookie, misguided design production and how important it is to avoid falling into such a trap with the image of your business. He continues, “Major change (good or bad) always has a fall-out of sorts. The introduction of desktop computers has given rise to some of the worst designs, because so many non-designers think they can “do it themselves.” But we should not immerse ourselves in the negativity, because of all the poor designing that has been done, it becomes clearer which designs look best. In a sense, the ugly competition has given birth to a renewed appreciation for beauty. Much the same way that years of email and digital marketing overload has created a renewed appreciation for print on paper.”
Entrust a true expert in design in order to make it great
Gary Nowak, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, located in Ohio, observes clients of Minuteman Press franchises emerge from personal design consultations with powerful visual representations of their brands previously not imagined. Designers help quell Minuteman Press complaints received from business owners who cannot seem to get the kind of attention that is needed for long-term growth. They are artists who specialize in connecting with the unique needs of each client and able to skillfully combine their artistic sense with the latest design technology to portray a perfect design that can be unleashed through the power of print and the modern mainstay that is the internet.
Clients of Minuteman Press find themselves at the top of the business-to-business services industry and the designers that serve them are able to help them convey ideas and set the tones for their brands through the use of a multitude of options that ignite excitement through unmatched print and website presentation, in addition to other visual multimedia. The effects of partnership with a professional designer is exactly what you need, your business brought to life and on full and continual display across all relevant channels. As Mr. Nowak emphasizes, “Design dictates the gut feeling someone will have about your product or business. Your customers’ first impressions are formed right away before they even have a chance to consciously think about their opinion– so especially in this very visual age, design is everything.”
Here are four reasons to get yourself an expert designer, even if you think you “might” be able to do it yourself:
1. You will look like the professional you need to be. If your design screams “amateur” so will your business.
2. Your logo will speak to your target audience in a matter of milliseconds, thanks to a personal consultation that will identify your message and just the right way to deliver it visually. And it will likely deliver results for a longer period than if you were to “cheap-out” on design.
3. You will establish a working relationship with an expert designer. And, if you are wise, make sure they can help you with the entire scope of your marketing campaign, including the highest-quality printed collateral available today.
4. You will have the necessary design components for your marketing campaign on file with a trusted partner, who is then able to reproduce it and make adjustments as your business grows.
Ideas for the design of your business logo and accompanying visuals need an expert touch in order to come to life and please your target audience as they wade through design assaults from all angles. Your business, like a book, WILL be judged by its cover and while design doesn’t need to be complex to be a hit (see Apple logo), it needs to be uniquely and authentically yours. It must be true to your concept and you need to love it before you unveil it. The only way to do it right is to recognize the value of professional designers, marketing specialists and digital print experts able to deliver the sort of aesthetics that can make your business recognizable. From there, it’s up to you to deliver your best work and make sure your business is beloved by just the right audience.