#1: Why DOES Design matter?

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There are infinite ways to answer this question. Even further than why does design matter, its important to clarify why good design matters. This is my first post and as such I’ve been struggling with the best way to kick this off. What can you expect from this blog? Well, unlike how I get in the pool (slowly, one toe at a time), I’m going to jump right in…

I will talk about the obvious: “Why Design Matters”, but also, Matters OF Design. I will talk about my pet peeves, hopefully educate those who genuinely don’t know any better, but also  express the thoughts I have regarding design and all things pertaining to design. I want to help designers, future designers, people who know designers, people who might hire a designer, and everyone in between. I want to contribute to a better understanding of why design is actually important, and not just cause it’s what I love.

Whether you know it or not, you need design. Without it, you wouldn’t know which road to take, you wouldn’t be able to decide between toothbrushes at the store. I know this sounds dramatic, but at it’s most basic, design is a function. Graphic design is organizing information and presenting it visually in a way that it will be appealing and effective to the target audience. Design has so many faces, it is all around you, all the time; it directs you, and informs you. And at its very best, when it is not only design, but good design and great design, it will persuade you and even inspire you.

So, why does it matter if I use Comic Sans or Papyrus and design my own logo in Word? Why does it matter if I have my cousin, friend, or nephew “design” a logo for me? After all, they have Photoshop, isn’t that all you need? Can’t I just get online and pay some guy $15 and let my logo request get sent out to 25+ designers (who must not know better…) and decide later which one I want? Does this stuff really matter if I get what I want? Well, how about this: does a 99 cent cheeseburger from McDonald’s make you feel less hungry? Sure, but is it good for you? Nope. Could you get a free logo from a relative, pay pennies online, or try to make something yourself? Of course, but will it be the very best you could have done for your business? Absolutely not.

It is curious how a person or company will invest hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars into their storefront, product, or any number of other things they might need, but will balk at the idea of paying a fraction of these costs for a high-quality, custom logo or design. Most people, without realizing it, make decisions based on the look of something. If you are in a new city for a visit, and there are two non-chain restaurants to choose from, chances are that you will be drawn to one over another. This draw will be subconscious; you would most likely be drawn to the one that has spent more time and money on the look, the logo, the feel, of their restaurant. The restaurant that has invested in their “look” or identity will attract more customers which will result in more money and a successful business. If they don’t present themselves correctly, they will lose these potential customers. So in a very real way, how much is invested in the design of the restaurant’s identity could make or break them.

So if you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have a lot of money, I have the software, why is it better to pay someone if I can do it myself?’. Well, that will be a topic for another post… Stay tuned.

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