The importance of design for small businesses

A blog from our Senior Graphic Designer, Rachael Boothby

Despite the huge influence graphic design has in our day-to-day lives, all too often businesses treat design as something of a luxury. When it comes to small businesses, who typically run on limited resources, many adopt a ‘we can do it ourselves’ attitude.

The problem with this is that creative tasks such as branding, web design and photography, are highly skilled activities which should be taken seriously. While everyone wants a beautiful website, clever logo and compelling marketing material, they’re not always willing to pay professional rates to get them.

Many companies try to save money by having design work done ‘on the cheap’, by a friend or colleague who has little or no adequate training. Some even search for cheaper options on the web or burden themselves with the work.

As much as we’d all like to think our minds are capable of creating effective designs, professional designers have years of education, experience and industry know-how that simply can’t be beaten.

The importance of design for small businesses infographic

First impressions count and you only have one chance! Potential customers will judge your business in seconds on visual appeal alone. High quality design gives businesses credibility and that’s priceless. It doesn’t matter if you have a fantastic product; if your brand is poorly designed it’s unlikely people will take the time to investigate your services.

A professional graphic designer can take you far beyond a simple logo. They will create a solid brand identity with consistency across every customer-facing aspect of your business. Your brand identity is a carefully coordinated overall visual style which encompasses everything from colour choice, typographic style, selection of typefaces and the quality and finish of stationery.

Thoughtful design evokes the right image so it’s important that people get a feel for what your business does. Designers also ensure that your brand collateral has a consistent look and feel throughout. This consistency means customers will have the same experience when visiting your company’s website as they do reading its marketing material. Therefore the business becomes recognisable and, more importantly, memorable.

Creativity can help a business stand out. While price, quality and customer service can all differentiate businesses from each other, a strong visual identity can set it apart from the rest. It’s vital to invest in design from the outset. If you don’t, you may end up going through an expensive rebranding process or lack a consistent style across your communications.

Quality design has longevity. Investing in a graphic designer from the outset is no more expensive than paying for below average design two or three times, several years down the line. Rebranding a company’s image can also be detrimental and businesses run the risk of losing their existing customer base. Refocusing a company’s efforts and redefining the company image can be a waste of time and money, so it’s important to get it right first time.

Working with a good graphic designer isn’t just about the immediate future. It should be regarded as a long-term relationship, similar to that of your accountant or lawyer. As your company evolves, so will your graphic design requirements. Having a good relationship with a designer means that any future requirements will be easier to organise and the amount of time you spend on design work won’t need to cost the earth.

Talk to Rachael and the team about your next design project. Call us on 0115 8244400 or email

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