Up until the mid 20th century, the majority of consumers chose their products based on quality. But with mass production came more products, making it a real challenge to differentiate between a reliable seller and a cheaper version. That’s also around the time when branding and design started to become more sophisticated, becoming an essential part of a company’s overall success.
Before today’s consumers even have the physical product in their hands, they formulate an opinion about a brand based on things like unforgettable logos and user-friendly online presence. When navigating success in a digital world, design is paramount, so tread carefully when deciding how you are going to present yourself to the world.
1. Be more than just a pretty picture
Whether you’re using Kickstarter, or already have an investor, it’s always good to have clear guidelines in place before you show your face to the world. It’s not enough to lean on sleek fonts and enticing color schemes, you need to go beyond aesthetics. Your brand is telling a story, so be sure that you know your brand from the inside out before you step out from behind the curtain.
From there you can start to conceive your image based on the individual elements of your company philosophy. Good design these days doesn’t just focus on style and appealing color palettes, but cultivating a strong personality.
2. Invest in a good designer (or two)
With so many online platforms available, it’s easier than ever to find a freelance designer. But just because freelancer designers are plentiful doesn’t mean you should pick the first one you come across. First, know exactly what you need. Are you in need of a graphic designer, a UX designer, or both? No matter what you are looking for, don’t expect your ideal designer to be a unicorn. More often than not it’s wise to hire more than one person who is an expert in their field, rather than a jack of all trades who can do a little bit of everything.
To find a good fit, avoid visiting contest sites or opting for quick fix options. Try and focus on exploring platforms that offer a diverse range of
quality designers. Your image is the face of your company, so it’s vital that you really invest time and effort in your designer so that they will do the same.
3. Keep it simple
It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of getting your company or project off the ground. Get all of your ideas out in the open before you make anything final, or the end result might be a mish-mash of concepts that won’t translate well to your potential customers. Simplicity is best, especially when it comes to user experience. A cluttered interface and too many bells and whistles are proven to actually turn potential customers away.
4. Plan ahead
Do your research. Understanding trends and fluctuations in the market is an important part of the creative process. But, don’t make the mistake of focusing only on what’s popular now. That’s a good way to ensure that you’ll be forgotten in no time. Being well-informed about what types of design faded out and which ones stood the test of time can help you make some important decisions about how you want to present yourself.
Staying relevant also relates back to keeping things simple. The more bold and strong your image is, the better it will age. Of course, not every brand will be as recognizable as Coca-Cola or Apple, but if your design genuinely represents your company philosophy, there’s a much better chance you will be much more than just the flavor of the week.