If you’re a small business owner, you probably have a passing familiarity with graphic design as you likely spent hours or maybe days working with someone to create a memorable logo. But there’s much more to graphic design than that!
In a broad term graphic design is essentially a visual representation of a specific message. The aim is to create a piece of visual information that an audience can easily understand. Look around you and you’ll see graphic design everywhere from billboard ads to magazine covers to websites. It’s everywhere!
The pervasiveness of graphic design is no surprise considering that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Large companies spend millions on graphic design campaigns in order to effectively market to their target audience. Good design encompasses everything visual from images to typography to layout techniques.
Social media has been a game changer for the business world as it provides a direct line of communication between a brand and its customers. In fact, one of the first touchpoints people will have of a company is with their social media profile. While social media might seem more casual than traditional advertising, it still requires attention to your graphic design.
If you’re like most businesses you likely have a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and maybe even YouTube account. Across the board, video and photo outperform text only posts. While it might be tempting to simply cross post the same content across the platforms, each one has its own quirks when it comes to image optimization. It might be time consuming, but you’ll perform better by having images tailored for each site.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating good graphics for each of your profiles. Each audience also expects a difference aesthetic and has their own “style” so what might work on Twitter won’t necessarily work on Facebook. That means having multiple images of a product for each platform. While going viral isn’t guaranteed, the more time you put into your design, the more likely you will be to connect with your audience.
You don’t know how your target demographic will first come into contact with your business. Maybe it’s with your business card, a website, an online ad or a social media post. Regardless of how they find you, if any of these don’t have good visual impact, people will quickly forget about you no matter how good your product or service.
One of the biggest pitfalls that many small businesses fall into is not having a consistent design across the board. While a good logo can certainly go a long way, you can’t simply just slap it on any old layout/design. You need to ensure you use the same font, colors and formatting to ensure your audience recognizes your brand in every message you deliver. Consistency is the key to building up customer loyalty and trust.
Probably the biggest reason to ensure your brand follows good design practices is because it brings in customers. A well designed site or brochure should convert customers into taking some kind of action, whether that means signing up for a newsletter or making a sale.
Just like your company, your design should be nimble and adjust to the changing tastes of your demographic. It might be frustrating, but it’s very important to keep an eye out on trends in graphic design. While you don’t need to rehaul your design every month, you keep an eye on your conversion rates and periodically run some split testing to see if you can improve your designs. Just make sure to test a single variable so you know exactly what changes are improving or decreasing conversions.
Builds Up Business Unity
Not only does a solid graphic design connect customers to your business, it also brings your employees closer together. After all, your business identity starts from within and the more familiar people are with it, the happier they’ll be at your company. A strong visual identity gives employees a sense of community with each other and also a sense of pride.
A solid graphic design actively draws people to your company whether it is as customers or employees. Remember, consistency is key to the success of your design and business. Make sure that when you hire someone, they create a brand guideline for your company to follow as this will ensure you’re customers know your brand regardless of what platform they’re on. It might be expensive, but in the long run, the investment will be worth it.