We’re all designers aren’t we? We know what looks good. We all have our own individual style. At some stage I’m sure we’ve all been told we have a good eye.
That, coupled with the fact that it’s now all too easy to design our own marketing material, means we are increasingly likely to do just that: our own design.
Now, we can all put something together that looks good. We’ve been doing it since we first put our cute little hands in some paint and carefully made a handprint in primary colours in primary school. We may have even progressed to colouring in and keeping it within the lines. We probably had our pictures put on the wall, if not at school then on the fridge at home.
So of course we can all design.
But there is a difference between doing something that looks good, and doing something that adds value to the business.
There’s a reason why designers go through years of professional training: to be a great designer takes years of professional training.
So what 5 things do you need to know about great design?
It starts with your brand values
Now, that may look like a whole other area, and may be it is, but it is important to know what your values are first. This will form the basis of the design brief. The design needs to reflect your company’s values.
It adds value to the brand and ultimately to the company
Design isn’t just about something that looks good. All your company’s design needs to be recognised as representing your company. Think of any successful brand and they have a look. And that look is important.
It doesn’t have to be your taste
You might well be able to design something that you think looks better. But it’s important to remember that we’re not designing something to be hung on your wall at home. We’re designing something that will reach your audience.
It needs to mean something to your audience
Whether it’s an advertising campaign, a website, a brochure or a tender document. Your brand values need to be evident in your design. And those values need to mean something to your target audience.
It needs to extend to all your company’s collateral
From the contact form on your website, to a sales letter, to a good old-fashioned business card. Your company’s brand needs to be evident in everything. And not just what the client sees. Your people are your brand, and the more they’re immersed in your values, the more they’ll embody your ethos. So internal and external documents all need to be given the same treatment.
So in summary, there’s probably a lot more that goes into design than at first meets the eye. Great design adds commercial value, incites response, generates sales, embodies your brand, makes your staff proud. If you can do all that, then you’re probably a great designer. Or if you need some help, then the professionals are out there.
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