7 Proven Reasons Why Good Design is Good Business


Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment
Categories :Uncategorized

“Good design is good business.”Thomas Watson, Jr.

From dating apps to online shopping, we choose products, services and people based on beauty. Successful business owners know this well.

According to Adobe, companies with a strong design outperform companies with a weak design by 219%on the S&P Index (a stock market index) over the span of 10 years.

In fact, 48% of people surveyed by Tyton Media said that the website design of a business was their number one factor in determining the credibility of that business.

So not only is good design directly tied to success, it’s also tied to trust.

People don’t trust just anyone.

When people work with a company, they want to know they’re working with professionals. Investing in professional design shows that your business values professionalism and sends a powerful message to potential clients or customers. You only have one chance to make a first impression, and using a professional designer helps you make it as effective as possible. Investing wisely is key to sustaining and growing your business, and design is no exception.

Here are 7 proven reasons why good design is good business (and how you can use design to increase your small business revenues).


1. Good design makes a strong first impression.

Good design is about using colors, shapes, textures, space, forms, images, and content in a harmonious, balanced way.

Good design starts with a strong brand.

A well-designed logo is an important part of a company’s brand.

A great logo design can be the difference between blending in and standing out from the competition. But while we often recognize the value of a great logo, we don’t always prioritize it.

New business owners often incorrectly believe that a good logo will cost thousands or tens of thousand of dollars.  As a result, they sometimes buy pre-made logos in an online logo store or try a do-it-yourself approach.

In fact, entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who make the mistake of using generic logos- businesses of all sizes sometimes use logo shortcuts, only to find out that it’s even more expensive to rebrand later. After all, memorable logos are 13% more likely to get consumers attention, and 71.6% more likely to get a positive response from consumers. In a world of noise, that can make a big difference.

In the digital age, companies only have a matter of seconds before a customer makes up their mind.

Those few seconds are crucial because they can make or break a sale – and design plays a huge role in the deciding factor.

For example, it only takes people 10 seconds to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, but it takes 5-7 impressions for consumers to recognize the logo.

Good design is a signal to customers that they should buy from you.


2. Good design helps your business stand out.

If you thought you had no competition, think again.

Every company, no matter the industry, faces a hefty amount of competition.

Good design can make or break your business:

If your designs are current, modern and impressive, people will just gravitate towards your products. It’s a fact of life. The next time you go to the grocery store, browse a random isle that you never look through and ask yourself which items on the shelves catch your eye first. I guarantee it’ll be the products with phenomenal design, branding and modern packaging.

Creating a successful product, service or website is all about getting eyeballs to it. What if you can spend less money but generate more eyeballs just because something looks better than the others? Would you not take the time to invest more upfront to get those kinds of results? That’s the great thing about good design, you don’t have to spend more but you’re automatically able to generate more attention.

3. Good design builds customer relationships.

Since relationships are based on emotion, customers are often emotionally connected to a company.

For example, to showcase the emotions someone may go through when seeing a beautiful design, Crowdspring uses a fun illustration to show that Crowdspring clients will get a design their customers will love:

Good design makes it easier to create emotional connections.

Great designs use color, layout, and smart font choice to connect to their consumer in meaningful, emotionally driven ways. Incorporating impactful, memorable, and emotional connection in the visual display of your brand is the best way to show the world who you are and what your brand stands for.

Your designs should support the principles you have built your company around, and strive to reach your customers’ hearts (rather than their wallets).

Create valuable, sustainable customer relationships by building your brand’s visual identity on the foundation of emotional connection. There’s no better way to secure consumer loyalty than by connecting you through your shared values, and a great design is the most effective way to illustrate them.

Good design is not only a reason why your customers become customers – it’s also why they stay.


4. Good design keeps your website easy to use.

Good design is not just what looks good.

To be effective, design needs to perform a specific function.

Good design is about how something looks and works.

A well-designed website, for example, helps convert visitors into customers.

When people have attention spans that are shorter than that of a goldfish, you know you don’t have a lot of time before someone gives up.

According to a study by Microsoft Corp., the average human attention span has declined by 4 seconds since 2000.

Today, that attention span is 8 seconds, while a goldfish clocks in at 9 seconds.

While the difference seems small at first, it’s actually a pretty big deal.

With good design, websites and online products are easier to navigate and bounce rates are usually lower.

When people encounter poorly designed sites, they are more likely to give up because they can’t find what they are looking for or it takes too long to find the information they seek.

Signs that a website is easy to use includes a simple display of information, no middle-man steps, and no bells or whistles.

Good design and good usability aren’t about information overload or tons of animations – it’s about giving the customer the bare minimum that they need while still expressing your brand.

If your website isn’t intuitive, it’s hurting your business.

That’s why good design doesn’t just entail pretty graphics or typography, it also involves user experience design and workflow.


5. Good design promotes brand consistency.

It would be strange if Google suddenly started displaying search results in a cursive font. Or if McDonald’s decided to change up their logo depending on the day.

If you’re cringing, it’s probably because you’ve never tried to imagine a purple McDonald’s logo or a script Google search results page.

We don’t blame you.

The layout of Google’s search results and the McDonald’s logo are more than just design elements for the companies, they’re a part of their brand.

Because those designs are so memorable, it’s hard to imagine them changing, and that’s a really good thing.

Consistency is key when it comes to creating a cohesive brand.

In fact, having an inconsistent brand is a critical mistake that could put your business out of business.

That’s because the brand ties the customer to the emotions.

When a brand is inconsistent, it seems chaotic and disorganized.

People don’t want to get involved with chaotic brands because they trust the company less.

Put another way, your brand is your company’s public identity. Ideally, your brand should embody the best (and most essential) attributes of your company. That’s pretty unlikely to occur if you leave your branding to chance.

Start by making deliberate, informed choices about what elements of your company’s personality and service philosophy should be featured. And once you’ve laid the groundwork, the key to branding success is consistency.

Customers can’t get to know (and trust) your business if they don’t have the opportunity to experience your brand in a consistent manner. Here are some compelling ways that consistent branding ban strengthen your business:

  • Easy brand recognition leads to positive associations.
  • Consistency provides an advantage over the competition.
  • Increased perceived value leads to higher sales.

6. Good design is the key to social media success.

If you thought you only needed a well-designed website to succeed, think again.

Many of today’s marketing efforts are done on social media platforms.

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other platform, social media is one of the best ways to connect to customers, go viral, and make a name for your company.

But in the age of aesthetics, you won’t get far with your social media strategy with poor designs.

Buffer took a look at the effect of graphics on social media engagement on Twitter. In their research, they found that tweets with images received 150% more retweets than those without any images. A closer look at these images showed that companies often took the time to post something more than a stock photo.

Customers aren’t the only ones that agree good design helps companies on social media platforms. 60.8% of marketers said that in 2017, design was essential to their marketing strategies. And 93% agreed that it was very important.

Without design, marketing messages boil down to plain text and this approach rarely catches people’s attention.


7. Good design makes you money.

We pointed out that good design is good business and hopefully, you’re beginning to understand why that’s true.

Ultimately, good design increases your company’s value, boosts sales, and puts your business in a better financial situation.

Through building trust, making strong first impressions, building customer relationships, and even executing successful campaigns, good design helps make your business more profitable.

At the end of the day, the technology or the differentiating factor in your business can only take you so far.

Take Facebook and MySpace as an example. Both platforms set out to do the same thing: connect people to one another. At one point, it was significantly more popular to have a MySpace account than it was to have a Facebook account.

Today, a MySpace account is the equivalent of a flip phone. It’s Facebook’s clunky, uglier relative.

Facebook’s sleeker, more intuitive design helped Facebook become the dominant social network in the U.S.  Facebook is now valued at over $440 billion, while MySpace is valued at around $35 million.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Even though your business is small today, a good design can help it be big tomorrow.

Ready to take design to the next level and help your business succeed? Let me help you make your design dreams come to life. Get started on a website design project or request a free, no obligation design consultation for a new logo, business card, marketing materials, or any other type of design today.

5 Reasons Business Cards Still Matter


Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

Everything we do in business today is digital — sending mail, signing contracts, attending meetings, even networking. The business card is one thing that digital will not fully replace anytime soon. Here are five reasons why the old school business card is still important — and why you should have a pocket full of them at all times.


1. Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.

Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin. Two individuals with their heads buried in their phones typing away won’t create any kind of significant memory of the encounter. You can easily transfer the information from a business card to your mobile device after the conversation.


2. They are the most effective direct marketing tools.

Email marketing, search engine optimization and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange. You can encounter a potential lead or contact at any time — trade shows, industry conferences, happy hour, airport lounges — and arming yourself with business cards at all times will ensure that you never miss an opportunity to make a valuable business connection. Keep some in your pockets, wallet, money clip or laptop bag so the next time you encounter a prospect you are prepared.


3. A business card is the first impression of your brand.

When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number. When I make a connection via my business card, I don’t want my brand associated with the word cheap. A retail store trying to make a great first impression wouldn’t create a storefront sign with a piece of cardboard and a Sharpie. I have that same mentality when it comes to my business cards.

My goal is to make a memorable first impression. A well designed business card makes a great first impression and they also act as a great icebreaker. I have never once had a conversation end after handing over my business card. A unique business card will actually fuel the conversation even further.

Yes, they cost more — but think of how many unnecessary expenses you can cut to allocate funds for great business cards. Hold off on the ping pong table and espresso machine for the office and get some business cards that will make a great first impression.


4. Creative business cards get shared — continuing to market for you.

A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them. If you meet a prospect and exchange email addresses and phone numbers you each walk away with another contact on your mobile phone — it ends there. If you hand over a creative business card that makes a great impression that person is likely to show it to other people — putting you and your brand in front of additional prospects.


5. Business cards show you are prepared.

Have you ever had someone write his or her contact information on a cocktail napkin and hand it over to you? How about someone that had a mobile phone with a dead battery? It isn’t the most professional approach. If you met two individuals and one was scrambling to find a pen and something to write on and the other person simply pulled out a business card, who would you want to do business with? Showing that you are prepared at all times is a great indicator that you are professional.


Fear not. Conversations will still end with, “Let me give you my business card,” at least for a little longer.

How do you feel about business cards — do you still use them and see them sticking around for a long time? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Do you need better designed business cards?
Well designed, stand out, creative business cards can make all the difference when keeping your brand in front of people. OPTIMAL Graphics offers a variety of business cards to meet your branding needs. We have plastic cards, frosted cards, recycled cards, trifecta cards, cards with di-cuts, spot UV and all that’s in between. Let us design your card that WOWS! Contact us today for card options and a free quote.

The Importance of Having a Mobile Friendly Website


Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

The internet started on the PC but with more than 3 billion mobile phones being used world wide, we are soon approaching a time when many people’s first internet experience will be through a mobile device. These rapid changes have left the business world with no choice other than to adapt to them. With mobile devices taking over the place of the PC, not having a mobile friendly website is like committing business suicide.

Why You Should Have a Mobile Friendly Site

Rise of the smart phones: Smartphones have become affordable over the past few years. Almost everyone is looking to buy one. These devices are excellent for hand held browsing. Since the sale of smart phones is increasing, it only makes sense for companies to have a site that can be easily browsed through on these devices.

Popularity of mobile internet: According to studies, about 40% of the people who have a mobile phone use it for going online, and half of them will go online at least once every day. This presents a huge opportunity for a business.

Inexpensive option: Because mobile screens are a lot different from computer screens, the site design has to change accordingly. It is a relatively cheap process and not very time consuming either.

Don’t get beaten by competition: People love to browse while traveling. However, when they find that sites that they normally used at their PCs are not mobile compatible, they might end up switching to a site which provides similar services and is mobile compatible as well.

SEO: Having a mobile friendly website also helps in SEO as it helps improve rankings on mobile friendly search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

Compatible with all platforms, unlike mobile apps: The alternative to mobile friendly site is producing apps that perform similar functions. Now this can be a very tedious task. Making an app is also quite expensive and apart from that, you would have to make different apps for different platforms. Once you make these apps, they have to fight hundreds of thousands of other apps to get into the spotlight.

Better user experience: Earlier, it might not have been possible to make a mobile site and give the user a good enough experience because of the low bandwidth and server speeds. However, in recent times, this has changed and you can be assured that using a good mobile site will be an enriching experience for a user.

Within a span of three years, the number of people accessing the internet via mobile will be more than those accessing it via a PC. This, more than anything else, should be a clear indication for you to start working on the mobile version of your site. Apart from that, the biggest draw on the internet today are social networking websites. Many people access these websites through there mobile devices. If they come across a link to your site, they would want to view it on their mobile screens.

Things to Keep in Mind

There are numerous reasons for you to have a mobile version of your site. Mobiles are the device of choice for many people today, and you would want to be accessible to them. However, while making mobile sites, you need to keep certain things in mind. People use mobiles for browsing because they want to save time. If a site takes too long to load, then there is no point of a mobile user visiting that site. You need to keep the page size small enough so it is loaded quickly on cellular networks.

Often the problem of text size also crops up. It is not a good idea to cram the most information you can in one page. Mobile screens are small and it becomes difficult to read a lot of text. Also clicking on links becomes a difficult task. Make sure that the content of your page can be viewed easily and the site can be navigated easily as well.

If you are not someone who is surfing the net from your mobile, then you will soon be in minority. In the near future, most people will be using a mobile phone for browsing. This means that any business that has a presence on the internet right now should make appropriate changes so that its website is mobile friendly.

To Hire or Not to Hire?


Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

Risk Word In Red Showing Peril And UncertaintyHiring a graphic designer nowadays is not easy. It can be a very stressful process. From high hourly rates to no call backs and ridiculous turn around times, it’s no wonder there are more articles posted titled “Top Reasons NOT To Hire A Graphic Designer” than I can sift through. I came across a few that were quite humorous to me at first, and then I started thinking; What if people really do think like this? If people are thinking like this then why not give them a reason to think again about these negative lists. Here are some reasons that were created BY graphic designers to get people to think about things they were doing.

1. “Joe, the IT guy, knows how to stretch and squish photos and place them into PowerPoint to make cool tri-folds we can just print out on our desktop printer.”

Your company image is everything. And that doesn’t just refer to your uniformed men or the people who answer your phones. It flows all the way down to items you present to potential customers and current customers. Things as simple as brochures and business cards are being judged, especially if you are in a high competition industry. You may not think so, but winning a bid can come right down to who had the better sales materials. Consider hiring a graphic designer or professional print company to make sure you have quality products you are using to present with.

2. “Because you KNOW that people will look at your ad longer if you fill every inch of it with all the information they ever needed to know about your product.”

If this is your thinking you may want to consider changing it. You have approximately 3 seconds to grab your readers attention before they navigate to the next page. Make it count! Less is more. Make sure you get a headline that captures their attention and then get the basics, phone number, website, and call to action. If they read EVERYTHING about your product in the ad what makes them want to call you?

3. “Kinko’s doesn’t suck. They do a rip-roaring job on all my important collateral.”

Yes, Kinko’s offers you all the means for quality printed materials. But if the design is terrible who cares where it is printed? A glossy paper isn’t going to make it present any better. Remember, think about the image you want your potential and current customers left with.

4. “Default 12pt Times New Roman type with auto leading is easier for my great-grandmother to read than any of those fancy fonts designers use.”

That may be true, but is your great-grandmother reading your ad? Or looking through your brochure to buy? Probably think. Think about the people who are. We as consumers are attracted to bright colors, whimsical fonts, and things that draw our eye from the “norm”. Default 12pt Times New Roman font just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Bottom line, think of your ads, sales materials and promotional materials as YOU. Your brand, your image, your company. You don’t have to be to flashy or too off the wall. And you don’t have to pay gobs of money for it. What you spend is well worth what you will get back from it. A well designed set of materials can become a very beneficial sales tool.

Creating A Successful Print Ad


Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

mcdonalds-angusThe first step in creating a good print advertisement is to establish the appeal; why should your reader buy, or request more information? Think about your headline. Do you want to sell your fast service, discounted rates, or free estimates? The key is to capture the attention of your reader before they see a similar ad on the next page. When designing your campaign look through the magazine or paper you are listing your service in. Try to find something different than the other ads. Your ad will more than likely be one amongst hundreds so offering something your competition doesn’t makes for a appeal!

The body of the copy or bullet points you list should state the benefits of using your product or service. It should emphasize how they are different, or better, than your competitors’ benefits. Emphasize words like “free” or “no obligation” to make your customer feel comfortable about calling. Think about adding a short testimonial. And the obvious, don’t forget to include full contact information; telephone number, address if you have a physical location, and a website. Consider also adding information about your social media pages as this is becoming a business standard.

Next think about the design of your ad. The size of the headline font should be big and powerful enough to grab the attention of the reader. Pictures can be helpful, but, if possible, don’t use pictures that have nothing to do with the product or service. You want the pictures to attract buyers, not curiosity seekers. Pictures of the product, of the product in use, and of people using the product, work best.

Include organization logos and seals of approval. Making your customer feel that you are not only established but you have companies keeping you in check. Consumers nowadays rely heavily on organization memberships such as Check A Pro, Angie’s List, Service Magic, and the Better Business Bureau.

Where and when to place your ads are vital to its success, so it’s important to put together a strategy and media plan. The media plan is a schedule of ad placements for the year, and includes, the publication name, which ad will run, dates the ads will appear, size of the ads, placement within the publication, and fees. It can be time consuming but setting a strategy helps you get the most out of your ad. The plan can also include other types of ads that will run throughout the year in different mediums that may highlight your print ad. Think about email marketing or social media campaigns to run in conjunction with your print ad.