Look at the successful businesses around you and you will notice one of the things they have in common is consistent branding along with attractive visuals. I look to Apple as being one of the best in the World at the visual manifestations of their brand. They even extend this into industrial design to create a complete package.
The average business can still perform well in their market without going to the extent that Apple does however market performance will be greatly enhanced if even the smallest business pays attention to the fundamentals of good graphic design.
A good start point is to understand that there are different types of design specialists needed for different business design requirements. In all my years involved in marketing I have yet to find a designer that is highly competent in more than one design speciality.
The following the four main types of specialist designers a modern business will need to engage:
- Graphic (print) designer – understands branding / logo development, printing, finishing and distribution processes,
- Web designer – designs for internet/websites and is different to a web developer. They understand the wide array of web tools, web load speeds and SEO
- Illustrator – are essentially fine artists who create illustrations & art pieces to be used as part of a design for use in advertisements, books, magazines, packaging, greetings cards & newspapers. They usually don’t have a deep understanding of brand management however they can be very useful for developing highly creative and unique logos.
- Presentation Designer – The focus of a presentation designer is purely on creating effective presentations for an organization.
One of my biggest frustrations is when individual designers claim they can design across all or some of the design disciplines. My advice to marketers and business owners is to “run a mile” from any designer who makes such claims as the usually cause much more grief than the perceived convenience.
Poor designer choice will add cost into your supply chain. For example, artwork for printing that isn’t press ready will require rework and ultimately push additional cost into the printing, finishing and distribution aspects of your campaign. Additionally, using a print designer to design your website is just as fool hardy as your website performance maybe compromised with slow load speeds and poor SEO.
The simple answer is to build a team of design specialists that encompass all the design disciplines needed for your business. Do this and you will be well on the way to massively boosting your marketing ROI. Better still, enable them to work collaboratively and watch the magic happen.