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Who really gives a stuff about design anyway?

Who really gives a stuff about design anyway?

By Fred Thompson

I give a stuff.

You give a stuff.

But what about the prospect looking for a new firm to work with, do they really give a stuff?

As a creative (in my previous world) all I’ve ever wanted to do was to make things look great, whether it was designing a new logo, a website, a brochure or anything a client required, I always strived to make it look better than the previous design and to ensure it always looked better than a client’s competitor. I was also probably guilty of designing just to improve my own folio.

Then why would I tell you any different now and why would I tell you I don’t totally agree with that philosophy anymore?

Based on my years of experience working with professional services firms I know most prospects don’t really give a stuff about design. And the ones that do, don’t really know good design from bad design anyway. It’s all opinion based. Its true. If it wasn’t then we would all have similar looking artwork on our walls, we’d all dress similar and we would all be living in similar style housing and driving similar looking cars.

Understanding (DEB) The Digitally Empowered Buyer

The Digitally Empowered buyer of today doesn’t go searching for the best designed website when looking for a new accountant or lawyer for example. They don’t go searching for the best logo or the best looking brand. In fact design is probably the last thing on their mind. Sure, if an organisation looks woefully unprofessional then they may discard them but if the hygiene level is being met then design will not be a deciding factor, and far from it.

Design for the target audience

If it’s designed just to look great and not designed for the target audience then what’s the point of it. It won’t work.

Whether it’s a new identity, a new website or any piece of collateral the target audience must come first. You need to know who they are and what they do, their age, gender, location, education, occupation, income, family status and possibility even to the point that you know what they read, what they watch on television and what their general interests are. Once determined then the design can be created to suit.

I still love being a creative so I’m not bagging design for one minute or even playing it down, I just don’t like seeing clients getting creative produced for creative sake that doesn’t resonate with their audience.

Yes i know, it still needs to look good

Of course your organisation’s creative should still look good across the board. The fundamentals and theory of design should always be adhered to make it effective such as balance, good proximity and legibility. But at the end of the day, don’t go into the next creative project with the aim just making it look better than a competitors, go into it with the mindset of putting your prospect first and understanding what creative resonates with them. That’s what will help make it more desirable for a prospect over a competitors.

I really do give a stuff and I know you do too so let’s have a conversation.

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