What is Design?

Have you ever gone through the self-checkout line at the grocery store and wished that the payment machine was quicker and easier to use? Or even better, it remembers who you are, whether you want your receipt emailed to you, and even keeps your credit card on file. 

That's a designer's job – to make experiences better. 

At its heart – graphic design is visual communication and problem solving. Design answers the question: what is the best way to share information, and entice the viewer to take action? 

Graphic designers combine elements of typography, page layout, and visual art to create these persuasive designs, or easy-to-use interfaces. These projects range from large to small, highly-sought-after to invisible. Everything from Starbuck’s Logo to a postage stamp, your Facebook experience to the signs that help you navigate through the mall, and plenty more in-between has been produced by a designer to make your interaction with that product/service better. 

Types of Design

There are lots of different types of designers with varying specialities and focuses. This list is not all-encompassing, but should give you an idea of some of the more common design disciplines that you're likely to come across: 

Identity Design: Logos, icons, and full branding systems

Packaging Design: Everything from cereal boxes to tissue boxes

Print Design: This is a very broad category, ranging from editorial design (think magazines), to wedding invitations, to concert posters

User Experience Design (UX Design): UX design is largely tied to website and app design – and is the process of improving a user’s experience and interaction with a digital interface

Website Design: Websites designs can range from small local business websites, to media sites for international brands

App Design: An app can be for the web, a mobile device, or multi-platform (think Yelp or Evernote)

How Good Design Can Positively Impact Your Business

As a business owner you’ve already got a lot on your plate, so why add another item to the agenda in hiring a designer? Here are 4 great reasons your office should start giving design more time on the to-do list:

1. First Impressions Matter

You have less than seven seconds to make a first impression, and that impression is going to stick around for a while. Having a well-designed brand will help differentiate you as the expert, giving you a leg up on your competition. It also gives your audience a clear view in what you do, who you do it for, and your values as a company. 

2. Brand Recognition 

Strong brands create an emotional connection with their customers, leading to better brand recognition. Instead of a customer him-hawing over whether to choose you or your competition, they'll choose you because they know your company's values, and what you stand for resonates with them. Design helps tell this message clearly, consistently, and concisely.

3. Boosting Brand Loyalty

Companies that go the extra mile and take time to make engaging with their brand fun will be rewarded with loyalty from their customers. This loyalty will lead to more new customers, higher retention rates, and brand advocates. 

4. Increasing Your Conversions

Those first three points all lead to a higher ROI (return on investment) and increased conversion rates. Design can also help you make the checkout process shorter and faster and more clearly show the benefits of your products/service.