I remember the first time I recognized a typeface out in the real world. I was at the movies and the title sequence for David Fincher’s Panic Room started.
“That’s Copperplate,” I thought as the titles rolled.
If I’m honest, Copperplate is not one of my favorite typefaces, but I was excited that I knew what it was. It has a distinct look and was selected for a specific reason.
“It bevels well and is really legible off-angle …” said William Lebeda, creative director of Picture Mill, the title design studio that worked on Panic Room’s opening credits. He discussed why Copperplate was selected in an interview posted on the website Art of the Title. “It has its own presence without being showy or too unusual. Floating in space is unusual enough, I think.”
I was able to recognize the typeface that evening because I majored in graphic design and had been working in the field for several years at that point. I often wonder what non-designers think about the design they see every day. Posters, packaging, websites, etc. — almost everything we see is designed. Someone has purposefully decided how to layout the visual communications we see around us from the colors used to what size the fonts appear.
Not everyone will agree on what makes “good design,” but we can pinpoint how good design affects a brand. Below are five reasons good design should matter to you:
Good Design Keeps Your Brand Memorable
Most people may not think about why they find something pleasing to look at, but a well-designed poster or website can make engaging with your audience easier. Once engaged, your audience can be introduced to your brand.
Your carefully selected brand colors, fonts and images all play a part in making your brand memorable. Studies show people have the ability to recall 65% of visual content almost three days after seeing it.
“There are three responses to a piece of design — yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser, renowned American graphic designer
Good Design Sets You Apart from The Crowd
While you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, the fact is a lot of people do. As humans we tend to be drawn to and trust things that we perceive to be attractive. If all things are equal, we typically will reach for the more visually appealing item, from business cards and brochures to phones and blenders.
Having well-designed marketing pieces will engage viewers and provide an increased sense of trust for your brand. The saying “dress for success” should apply to all of your brand’s visual collateral.
“Look at usual things with unusual eyes.” – Vico Magistretti, famous Italian furniture designer and architect
Good Design Communicates Your Brand’s Values Visually
It only takes 50 milliseconds to assess visual appeal. A graphic designer can take your brand’s values and translate them into marketing pieces that grab the viewer’s attention. Taking well-written content and pairing it with striking photography, colors and fonts in the right way can quickly relay what your brand is and what it does. Great design utilizes psychology and human behavior to express your brand’s intent visually.
“Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass, graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker best known for his title sequence designs
Good Design Ensures You Appeal to The Right Market
Picking the right font is not the only thing a graphic designer does. Picking the right font with your target market in mind is more like it. Is your target market an older crowd, Gen Z, or maybe a mixture of both? A designer may enlarge the font size of your body copy with this in mind, or maybe using a more traditional font would appeal to a wider selection of your target market. Knowing your target market and designing for them is an important step in your brand’s future success.
“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” – Massimo Vignelli, Italian modernist designer who worked in a number of areas
Good Design Motivates People to Take Action
Websites are one of the most commonly used ways to engage with an audience. They are there to provide information, but they also provide an opportunity for your visitor to act. For example, you may be promoting a webinar and a well-designed popover or landing page can deliver your message in a way that invites the viewer to “Learn More” or “Sign up Today.”
But what if the font is too small to read or maybe the color scheme clashes? Poorly designed sites are less effective. Not to mention that “38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.”
Most people do not need to know the nuts and bolts of how to design a website or brochure, but knowing the importance of good design is something you should not take for granted.
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” –Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover
By Annalisha Johnson, Graphic Designer, Capture Higher Ed