In a market crowded with dozens of competitors all selling the same product or service, the only way to stand out from the rest is by strong branding and image. The best way to keep customers is by making the buying process easy to get through, and for businesses that sell online, that requires a graphic designer, too. Good graphic design is a must for any business, not just an extra.
A graphic designer works as a facilitator, creating designs that help the user accomplish a task. This could be anything from finding information to recognizing a brand. This is why web pages, logos, and print ads with poor graphic design aren’t as effective as well designed ones — they don’t help the viewer get things done. Sometimes, they even get in the way.
Typography, layout, and color choice are more than just graphic design elements. They’re the tools that a graphic designer uses to promote a business’s image. They can minimize elements that aren’t important and shouldn’t be distracting and highlight the things that are important, allowing viewers to quickly see what they need to know to decide on a purchase.
Many business owners and graphic designers don’t think about how important graphic design is for a business. They forget that the job of design is to make the process easier, and focus on looks to the exclusion of utility. If you’ve ever used a website that wasn’t easy and intuitive in its navigation, or you’ve seen a print ad that gave you a headache, this is probably what happened. Form must never win out over function, but you have to understand function in order to get a good result.
Good graphic design also gives a business credibility – something that many small businesses need. However, truly good design doesn’t jump out at you, so people underestimate its value. Businesses don’t hire a graphic designer to work on their image and web presence, and even designers don’t realize their role creating a trustworthy image.
If you’re not certain about this, take a little time to think. You’ve probably hesitated to buy a product or service because of looks in the past. Poor graphic design looks careless, and can make you wonder if the business is just as careless about quality of service, construction, or other important details.
A trained graphic designer has more than just technical skills, something that many business owners don’t realize. Someone with a solid knowledge of graphic design also knows what works for users and what doesn’t work, and when these factors transfer between one situation and another. They know when to use a rule and when to break it in order to best serve the business and its customers and create a seamless brand or interface.
The best graphic design is one that no one realizes is there. Many major brands and companies have carefully designed branding, logos and websites, but most of us never notice it at all. This can make business owners forget how important a graphic designer is, but they shouldn’t. Good graphic design can make or break a business.