Meet Your Makeover: Why Design Really Does Matter

Question:  Is good design really worth investing in?

Answer: Yes, but not for the reasons you think.

So much emphasis today is put on content; content for your website, content for SEO, content for your white papers, etc… But what about straight-up good design?  Is making things shiny more important than populating them with content?  Are they equal?  Is it ok to have a bland and boring website as long as it’s loaded down with good content?  Before I answer that let me tell a quick story.

The Magazine With No Margins

I remember in college getting a magazine in the mail that was typed in 6 point font with 1/90th of an inch margins on each side.  It had no spacing between the articles, no pictures and from 3 feet away looked like pages of solid grey because of the density of text.  I remember opening it up, looking inside and immediately throwing it out (and thought about throwing up).  The lack of design consideration made the text worthless. The content was meaningless because the design context it lived in made it unusable, unapproachable.  I’m sure the writer worked diligently assembling the zine and writing the content and painstakingly assembling every copy and mailing them out to bands and bloggers.  But what they missed was that the design was inseparable from the content.  They are like 2 sides to the same coin, form and function.

Balance Your Act

Having great design work that your content lives in means that you’re balancing both sides of the coin. The function part of a brochure, blog or website is the content; good stuff that people want to read.  The form part of the equation is the romance; the emotional and experiential component of your material.  So while content might get read, content + design gets remembered .  The opposite is true as well; if you only have good design but aren’t saying anything worthwhile then you’re just another shiny jingle jangle on the internet.  Having great design doesn’t mean you will get any more business… period.  Design is not enough just like content is not enough. Balance your act.

It Pays To Be Remembered

There’s an old adage in the marketing world that a potential customer needs to see your brand 7 times or more before connecting their need with your service (aka remembering you).  The frequency of communication is important.  Likewise the quality of communication is also vital.  You have to say something in a memorable way.  Design is the “memorable,” it’s the context.  Have something to say, frame it in a good design and you will be investing in those necessary 7 exposures.  How much is that worth?  Well, it’s a lot less expensive to pay for good design work than using crappy design work for 5 years and wondering why your materials aren’t generating any buzz.  How much would you pay to get remembered?  Up your ante this year by creating your company’s materials with a deliberate form/function balance.  Need help with that?  Email us.

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