Should You Invest in Quality Design?

By Pete Hunt

Consumers often make important judgments about new products within mere seconds of seeing them. These assessments can change after longer exposure, but in many instances the first impression is the last one. 

What aspects of your brand would inform consumers' first impressions? Your logo? Your website? Your social media posts? Your product packaging? Your business cards? Your brochures? 

The most defining characteristic of all of these assets is design. Poor design leads to poor first impressions and turns consumers away. Quality design leads to quality first impressions and attracts consumer interest. Here are some specific ways your brand or business can benefit from an investment in quality design:

Home Depot's instantly recognizable logo has remained unaltered for more than three decades.

Home Depot's instantly recognizable logo has remained unaltered for more than three decades.

VISUAL BRANDING

Visual branding refers to the design elements (logo color scheme, typography, composition, etc.) which directly and subliminally communicate your company's values and personality, and serve to distinguish your brand from competitors. 

Brands with consistent visual branding are more recognizable to consumers, and spend less money over time on advertising and marketing materials. Brands with inconsistent visual branding have to reintroduce themselves to customers every new design cycle, and struggle to establish a durable identity. 

A professional designer can help you develop your brand's visual branding and ensure a high level of quality and consistency across platforms by creating style guides and design templates. 

Splashes of orange make the Home Depot website visually cohesive and on-brand even when the logo isn't visible.

Splashes of orange make the Home Depot website visually cohesive and on-brand even when the logo isn't visible.

Social Media

The importance of a strong visual presence on social can't be overstated in the age of Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Visual posts receive the highest level of engagement on Facebook, according to social media analytics agency Quintly. 

To advance your visual branding strategy, every design element of your social media accounts—from profile picture to cover picture to posted images—should be platform optimized and visually consistent. 

Designers can help you stand out on social with bold imagery, color and font consistency, and professional composition. 

The distinctive Home Depot logo and orange color provide the company's social accounts with the same visual branding as its stores, advertisements, and website. 

The distinctive Home Depot logo and orange color provide the company's social accounts with the same visual branding as its stores, advertisements, and website. 

Click-through and Conversion Rate

Quality design—especially illustration and photos—can boost every aspect of your marketing efforts: 

  • Email marketing firm Vero analyzed over 5,000 campaigns and found that campaigns with images had a 42% higher CTR than campaigns without images. 
  • HubSpot found that 65% of respondents prefer emails that contain mostly images vs. 35% who prefer mostly text. 
  • Kissmetrics includes "one or more images or videos" in its list of essential landing page components.

Professional designers will know marketing design best practices inside and out and can help you create eye-catching illustrations and photos for newsletter, landing pages, and marketing materials.

Budgeting

All of the above may sound great, but hiring a designer or agency is still a big step for small companies or budget-strapped marketing departments. Are you ready to get professional help? These questions can help guide your decision making:

  • Is social media a key component of your marketing efforts? 
  • Are your existing visual assets outdated or underwhelming? 
  • Do you use the same visual assets across projects and campaigns? 
  • Do you have visual asset ideas you'd like to execute but don't have the in-house capabilities to pull off? 

If you answered yes to to the questions above, then quality design is definitely a worthwhile investment. A design agency or freelancer can help you develop a consistent visual language and create assets that are built to last beyond a single campaign. And the design process is far easier when you work with an expert!

Ready to work with design professionals?