Design is like gravity after 40 - you can’t avoid it. It is part of everything around us. When we are consuming, we are looking at stuff. And when you look at stuff, you’re influenced by design.
Why is this something I would be pondering? Because I think people understand the value of, for instance, a well-designed coffee-maker vs a crappy not-so-clever one, but they rarely give any thought to the visual design. Consciously or subconsciously, design influences us all day, every day. Product packaging, displays, labels, logos, banners, colours, themes and trends play a huge role in decision making when people are rating products or services.
Good design makes things pretty and enhances our lives. Bad design makes us unintentionally buy the blue (skim) milk instead of creamy deliciousness we’re used to.
Good design makes you understand something about the product even before you’ve used it or picked it up from the shelf. Bad design makes you walk past a product or give no notice to an advertisement about a great new service.
Good design communicates. Bad design confuses.
Good design is intelligent and knows its target market. Bad design makes assumptions, but mostly, bad design just doesn’t care.
Of course, it’s quite possible that an inferior product could also be helped up the profit ladder by clever or beautiful design. But imagine the value good graphic design can add when it is coupled with a product or service that is already great - accentuating and communicating to you in an effective way will attract even more attention of consumers.
You don’t need to work in advertising or study art to have an opinion on design, or to be influenced by it. Everything around us involves design. Even the font you are reading this piece of text in is a design element used to encourage you to “consume” the “product” right to the end.
And that is why I am often astounded that people will spend years to build a service/product/company, but have the fugliest freakin logo or corporate colours you’ve seen since photos of your parents’ fondue party in their brown and orange themed kitchen, somewhere in the late ’70s or the early ’80s, resurfaced. Ok, those were kind of cool, but still. Suffice to say that the brown/orange theme has never resurfaced as a look. And also, it should not. But back to my point: in a perfect world, what a logo or product looks like shouldn’t matter - it should be purely about quality, consistency, etc. But last time I checked, we weren’t living in a perfect world and we’re not heading there shortly.
So, companies with ugly logos and really vieslike fonts from the late ’90s, listen up. Whether you’re a tannie with a koeksister shop or a plumber with the right bum, what your logo and your ads and your products and your stickers look like matters. End of story.
Design matters. Ok?