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Thoughts on design, branding, and creativity:
let me know yours in the comments!

Got Design?

Design. All important and all critical to the success of your business.

Design as function, that is. Design that makes sense of what your business needs to say and how best to say it. Design that establishes a content hierarchy so navigation is efficient and intuitive, allowing people to find what they need without extra precious seconds wasted. Design that is not mere surface decoration, an off-the-shelf theme or the latest shiny bells and whistles, but design that clarifies and never obscures. Design that engages and yes, looks absolutely terrific as it persuades and accomplishes the business objectives set forth at the outset.

Design that understands the big picture and how each website, each social media channel, each ad, brochure, sign, exhibit and business card are not separate entities but facets of a crystal where the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. This is your brand and is what will resonate in a noisy world if applied smartly, cohesively, and consistently.

Design that makes your business sing. Nothing more, nothing less. The most admired companies in the world do it. You know them well and they know the power of design. It is part of their culture and in their DNA. You know them well because of the power of design. Whether your business is large or small doesn’t matter — the principles are the same. Isn’t it time you did the same?

Think design.

Bring it into the earliest phases of your business strategy and listen to the pros, not the hucksters. And I know you have impeccable taste and two eyes just like anyone else, but please do not think that you can do this type of design yourself. Yes, you may know PowerPoint and maybe even a little Photoshop — but software, widgets, and tools are not enough to create effective, strategic design any more than owning a paint brush will produce a beautiful painting. Please respect your business enough to entrust the difficult work of design to a trusted, dedicated professional who has the talent and experience to do it right.

Effective design incorporates solid marketing principles and communications skills. It values client input, understands market trends, analyzes the competition, pays attention to metrics, utilizes and optimizes for the latest technologies. It accommodates manufacturing concerns, respects budget restraints, meets real-world deadlines, stands on its head, rubs its belly and chews gum all at the same time!

Left brain meets right brain. Design does all these things and if that sounds like a challenge, it is! But it can be done with the right team.

So what are you waiting for? Got design?


Article by Paul Biedermann.
Got Milk image © California Milk Processor Board. Gem image courtesy of stock_xchnge.
Photo illustration by Paul Biedermannre:DESIGN

0 Replies to “Got Design?”

  1. Design is like titles – it makes a very significant first impression. I’m stunned at the ordinariness of so many websites. It’s not that difficult to make it stand out a little, is it?

    1. Agreed, Bruce — and it doesn’t just go for websites. So many people and businesses continue to be destined for anonymity when they are worthy of so much more.

    1. Thanks, Luke. Many people confuse the two, but the end result should be clear — out-of-the-box templates and clicking buttons to apply the latest effect is not design. I might also add that neither is doing a third-rate copy of someone else’s work which happens all too often (future post!).

  2. Paul, great topic. I often hear coaches and consultants lauding message over means. But seriously, without a professional design you’re not going to stand out. I’ve got a post in progress with a working title of: STOP DISSING DESIGN!

    1. I appreciate your comments, Mallie — message and design go hand in hand. In fact, good design serves the message and makes the words much more powerful than they would be on their own.

      I like your title — are you finding much dissing? What I see is mostly dismissing. 🙂

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