Why design matters

I have been working with JWB&CO now for over 3 years and in that time have seen trends in our enrolments shift positively, the attitudes and reputation of CBC lift to a much higher standard and the overall continuity of our image become stronger. We have been given simple yet effective design elements to work with and this is achieving great things for the college. This year alone there has been a 40% increase in enrolments and many of those prospective parents have given positive feedback to the experiences they are already having. The CBC message is strong and clear – we cultivate boys character – the wider community is taking notice.
Anne Hatfield, Community Liaison Officer

Why design matters

As human being we all share the same innate attraction to all things beautiful. Whether a small purple and green meadow flower a top the rugged expanse of a mountain side well above the tree-line to the vast be-speckled night sky of our own Milky Way galaxy. Both compel you to want to look closer. We as humans are compelled to look, notice and marvel at the beautiful. Why you ask? Humans are visual creatures. We make assumptions based on what we see.

Never judge a book by its cover, but we do.

We all make assumptions right or wrong about what we see with our eyes based primarily on appearance… you know what your mum taught you as a five-year-old, don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately we do and usually too slow to remember what mum said. For example if you dress in a disheveled way onlookers will assume you are poor and destitute though in reality you could be a billionaire. To prove the point this actually took place. Richard Branson was the host of a TV show similar to the apprentice. On one occasion he disguised himself as an old, worn out and run-down UK cabbie. He had picked up one of the contestants from the airport and was bringing him back to the hotel in ready for the first days activities. The contestant treated him poorly as though he was well below him in society simply because of his outward appearance. Yes, poor parenting to raise such a pratt I know, but the point confirmed. Branson deliberately tested all the contestants to see what kind of people they were: kind, gentle considerate of others or unkind and self absorbed. He did this because he knew the human propensity to make assumptions based on what we see.

What about first impression? 

We all know they are lasting. Since they are lasting than they must be memorable either for the good or for the very bad. Middle ground on both accounts do not usually rate. First impression as we know are everything.

Armed with these two very powerful and universal truths, if someone does not know you from Adam how we present ourselves is then a matter of life and death. Well not really, but in the business world it is a matter of success or failure. As the highly esteemed creator of such iconic logos as: Apple and UPS logos, Paul Rand said this, “good design is good business”. When you are not so very well known or you wish to change the way people think about you or your product your website, prospectus and any marketing material become that first and lasting impression. It becomes what you live or die by. How we present ourselves or our business is critical to success.

Good design promotes credibility.

Putting effort into design and presentation communicates you are professional and worthy of the views attention and ultimately can be trusted… maybe even a friend over the long-term. Simply said credible. Ignore design and presentation and you run the risk of creating doubt, confusion  and distrust. This is a long hard battle back in the mind of your customer, so better to invest early on and get it right.

Good design gives a business or product an advantage over the competitors.

Apple Computer is a near trillion dollar business and by dollar amount the most valuable globally. It has embraced and championed all which has thus been said. The case in point is this, who launched the first mp3 player? No, you cannot recall. Not surprising. Nor can I. The point is Apple came to the scene three years late yet are considered as the originators. Why? It was how they designed the ipod with the cool wheel interface, simplicity of use and colours. How it looked was more important than how it functioned. It was just a music playing device with plenty of competitors and without the coveted first mover status. Remember the ads? The black silhouettes on a colourful background dancing with the white device in hand and the cord running up to the ears. We all wanted one. They succeeded then and now, because they present their products in a visually stunning way. We buy into it because it is a reflection of our own values. Now the competitors copy Apple. The highest form of complement.

Does design matter… Apple thinks so and so should we.