Why would you want to improve your graphic design for business? If a company is making money and keeping clients happy, why bother?
Wrong! Both large and small businesses need to embrace graphic design to enhance advertising, illustrate blog posts and improve landing pages.
And you don’t need to be wizard! Effective graphic design for business can be done quite easily with a bit of design know-how and great tools.
Knowing how to create great graphic designs for your business can really bring out the best in your advertising. Let’s say you wanted to promote your new plumbing service. This can be done with relative ease once you know the basics. Your brand name in lights and contact details/social media profiles should suffice on excellent designs. Think business cards for your plumbing service or lead magnets (newsletters/how-to guides) on your blogs and landing pages.
Once you have a consistent colour scheme and logo you are off to a great start. But why stop there? You should demand the best in stock photography and logos for your business idea.
That is why we have compiled these 20 simple ways to improve graphic design for business. We hope that this guide convinces you to try your hand and become competent with the latest trends!
A customer will always remember their first impression of a business. At first glance at the digital presence of a business will tell the potential customer a lot. Does the company have good branding and a logo? Maybe the website might have expert testimonials that will set the product apart. Bri designs on the homepage of your website will allow you to develop a sense of familiarity between you and the customer. A great design may not be the only factor in a high conversion rate. However, a positive first impression is the first step in getting the customer interested in your product. When someone comes on to your website for the first time they are not ready to buy. They probably have no intention to! These customers are merely looking around for the best options and considering different products. They will want to see your product as having a solid online presence and that people have successfully tried it. All of your great marketing ideas to move your leads through the marketing funnel mean nothing if you make a bad first impression. This is so important that it leads to a lot of marketer’s jobs becoming much harder with a bad website. Business owners take note! You really need to improve graphic design for business step by step to create a welcoming and approachable feeling on your homepage. It doesn't just come down to design. You can also talk about user experience, navigation and the placing of lead magnets. Potential customers may find it difficult to find your products or even recognize your brand! This is especially important on your product landing pages.
Keeping Your message simple
When someone looks at a page on your website, they are only going to take a few seconds to notice if it's up to scratch. You should always assume that the person visiting your website does not have time on their side, and will only take further action on your website if they are impressed. For this reason, you need to keep it simple! Keeping it simple makes your homepage, blog or landing page accessible for everyone. More importantly though, it makes everything easier to understand. For this to work, you need to create eye catching banners, logos and designs for your page to stand out. Young and old should be able to look at your page and think “Wow! This looks great- let’s check out the product!” Creating a great logo should be one of your first steps in achieving this. You can always create a mood board and keep your visual ideas together in the one place. This is a great way of staying organized!
Any business that wants to take itself seriously needs to have a professional look. This should go without saying! If your appearance to a customer does not resemble professionalism, then how can you expect to be taken seriously? Luckily, it is quite easy nowadays to have an impressive looking website, with quality looking blog posts and landing pages included. This also extends to newsletters and social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. and LinkedIn). This is exactly why you need to improve your graphic design for business! Even the most basic of design knowledge will allow you to make a web page look simply beautiful. Just having a professional exterior should enhance user interest in your service or product. But that’s not where the work stops. You need to understand how design elements work best for customers. In fact- 75% of customers say that ease of use on a website is one of the most important factors. Some of the best graphic designers out there are constantly researching the best practises and customer expectations for a website. Learning about current design statistics and trends should be at the top of the list for graphic designers. It’s important not to underestimate the importance of a professional front-end on your website.
It’s always important for a business to remain relevant. This is no different when it comes to graphic design, and the constant need to update your branding and logo. Times change and designs need to reflect this. The same logo that worked so well for you three years ago may need an update to mirror changing times, moods and fashion. To achieve this, you need to always be on the lookout for your competitors and how they are evolving over time. This can be extended to how colours, branding and design are changing in your own industry. Getting a designer in to work on a brand refresh is always an excellent idea for your business. There is no harm either in a business owner knowing the basics of graphic design software and also being aware of how trends are changing. After all, the correct use of colour increases brand recognition by 80%. It has a vital relationship with users and how a product is perceived.
Enhance sales by improving your graphic design for business
Great graphic design leading to more sales makes sense right? A consistent branding on a website with excellent designs and logos is sure to entice customers and persuade them to use your service. Put it this way- if you went on a website and saw that it had great designs, would you take the business more seriously and want to find out more about the product? Yes- you would. A great design often represents a strong message. When you have a strong logo or banner you may think that the business is offering you something useful. Something that sets itself apart from what your competitors are offering. Again, this helps to build a trusting relationship with the customer. They will recognize the brand and find something familiar with it that they will constantly come back to. You may add some new loyal customers!
What better way to build a great business relationship than with excellent designs? Think about it. Say you were planning on creating business cards for clients or potential business partners. The first impression they will get is the design, colour scheme and branding on these cards. For this to work effectively, you are going to need to the best designs. Every business owner can benefit from having even the smallest of design knowledge as it will set them apart from the rest. This is also great for B2B marketing. We all know that social media marketing and great graphic designs go hand in hand, but what if you were intending on using a platform like LinkedIn to build relationships? LinkedIn is perhaps a more serious platform than its counterparts (Facebook, Instagram) and is occupied by more business managers and CEOs. Having great designs on your LinkedIn page will make you stand out. But on top of that, sending a tailored personal message on LinkedIn’s messaging system will allow you to develop high-profile relationships with a tinge of professionalism. All it takes is a personalized image with a well crafted message and that CEO or marketing manager is bound to take notice.
Making yourself Unique
Let’s face it. Every business wants to be seen as unique and as standing out from its competitors. What any company would give to have a product that stands out in a shop to potential customers. One that looks completely different and unique to the alternatives on display. And what better way to do this than by using great graphic designs? Great visuals will allow your product to appear as more attractive to customers. It may already be a great product and solve all your customer’s problems! But a great design can elevate it to another status. This is not limited to the exterior of the product. You can also notice great designs on a website or on social media profiles. Clever digital marketing will attract eyeballs as it proves that the product has a strong online presence and has the potential to solve a customer’s needs.
Promoting Company Name
Including examples of great graphic design is an excellent way of getting people to remember a brand name. Companies now want people to see a brand logo repeatedly before they know that they can trust the brand. Placing logos in front of people on a regular basis allows people to become familiar with a product or service. When these customers have a certain need for a product they will then automatically think of the brand. Easy right? This repetition of brand name can be done anywhere from television advertisements, websites and business cards. And none of this has to empty your pockets! Creating simple designs for your marketing campaigns shouldn’t cost a bomb with great design tools and a bit of creativity. There’s no reason why a business owner should not be able to do this! This will allow even the smallest of businesses to compete in the most crowded of markets.
Bring people together
It’s no secret that great graphic designs have the ability to bring your customers, investors and clients together. A strong and consistent branding on your marketing materials and business cards are sure to encourage healthier business relationships. Having a professional look will ensure that people take your business seriously. This should lead to an increased number of meetings, leads and possible investors. It will also bring people together within your company. To have the best branding possible you are going to have to communicate with all areas of your business. Marketing, sales, customer representatives and IT should all have a say on the overall look and feel of your product or service. Increased communications and stronger relationships in the workplace should all be a result of this. Taking away a sense of pride from your work is essential. Great branding and logos will ensure that you will always have an attachment to your exterior.This can lead to increased employee morale as it will put everyone on the same page and willing to do their best for the company.
Any idea that allows a business to save money is a good one right? 100%. However this point comes with a twist. The best way of saving money with graphic design is by spending initially. Let’s say for instance you are planning on using someone on your marketing team to create your designs for you. This isn’t a bad idea, but you are risking a lot by placing faith in someone that isn’t a design professional. You could also be wasting this team member’s time on something that possibly won’t be beneficial to your business. Instead, you should spend a bit more money on training staff members and business owners on graphic design. This will allow you to save money in the long run as you won’t waste time or create negative PR with ineffective designs.
Creativity and graphic design will always go hand in hand! A strong sense of creativity will ensure that your business will stand out from the competition and have a unique personality. The more creative you are then the more your product or service will look different (and hopefully better) to your nearest and dearest rivals! There is no secret in saying that markets are hugely competitive these days. To stand out from the crowd you need to be as creative as possible and have your thinking cap on. This should all start at the drawing board. Throw some ideas around and see what sticks. You can find professional help from great graphic designers that will help you and your marketers come up with new ideas for telling your story. It’s important not to rush creativity. It should take time and the creative process must be allowed to develop before pinning down any ideas.
Telling A Brand Story
One of the best ways of telling a brand story is by illustrating it with great designs. It has never been more important to tell the story of your product or service taking off and becoming successful. If you can add a human aspect to this, even better! For example, if your product has positively influenced someone else or one of your clients you should show this in the best light possible. Videos work well or image laden blog posts which illustrate a successfully working product. Using great graphic designs is a great way of making an effective story stand out. Using a good graphic design tool will allow you to customize an image or video to your heart’s content. And when your content is ready you can post it in whatever way or order you like. Design that has careful thought put into it will put the right image in customer’s minds.
Create a blog about graphic design for business
One great idea for business owners who are learning graphic design is to document the process in a blog. This will help them to reflect on the learning experience, as well as help other business owners to get up and running with design. It will also help you to become noticed by other businesses who will appreciate the time you spent on learning this important skill. This could be important for future business partnerships or even investments. Great talent or potential employees for your company may also stumble across your blog and become interested in your business. There are simply no limits to the possibilities for your business with a professional blog on what you have learned about graphic design. Being able to write and talk about design is a great skill that will allow you to highlight your newfound skills to various business partners and clients. Solving a design problem in your blog is also a great idea- it will encourage people in your industry to read your content and share it to their followers.
Have a portfolio
Having a professional portfolio is essential for any graphic designer. This also applies to business owners. It represents a tool to which you can market yourself as a competent owner with some graphic design knowledge. This could be helpful for setting you apart as it establishes you as someone who is self-learning and able to do a variety of tasks. A useful addition to your portfolio could be a detailed report on you critically analyzed a design problem, applied a proven workflow to solve it and how the process was communicated. This will also make you and your business stand out as it shows you go the extra mile to solve issues within your company.
Partake in Graphic Design communities
It should go without saying that becoming involved in design communities is essential. This will allow you to increase your knowledge of the graphic design field and also make connections with people in the industry. As well as joining online graphic design groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and learning graphic design online, much can be said about attending graphic design conferences. Professional organisations such as as Graphic Artists Guild are a great space for graphic designers and business owners to join. These groups would run regular conferences/graphic design courses and also create articles and books. They also take part in activities such as lobbying to improve graphic design as a whole and working conditions. As well as Facebook and LinkedIn groups, there are online forums where you can sign up and add to various discussions on graphic design trends. This is useful for learning tips from graphic design professionals and hearing common difficulties from beginners or business owners like you that are learning from scratch.
Get Important Feedback
Receiving high-quality feedback on your graphic design progress is also hugely important. Without it, you are not going to know whether you are heading in the right direction. This is why you need to seek out your own feedback from people who will tell you the honest truth. A business owner, in particular, hearing that a certain aspect of his design work has to be improved is critical. An owner reacting proactively to this could have an impact on other areas of the business who will take note of a positive response to critique. The aforementioned online communities such as social media groups and online forums are a great location for this. Designers who know their stuff will be more than happy to tell you what they think (hopefully in a constructive way!) You can also upload your portfolio to a portfolio community and receive feedback on a variety of your work. This will help people to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are in your graphic design arsenal. Example sites would include DeviantArt and Flickr.
Learn from influencers
It’s always important to keep an open mind and follow graphic design influencers. This is not only important for marketers but also for business owners who hope to up their graphic design game. Luckily for us, influencers tend to share the secrets of their success in their content. It helps them too as it allows them to leverage themselves as influencers. How do you start talking to these influencers? It’s pretty simple. Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn are usually great sites that influencers in your industry tend to occupy. LinkedIn messaging is a great way of communicating directly with people who hold a lot of influence. If we take the example of graphic design, you can connect and talk to experienced graphic designers on sites such as these in seconds. Asking questions on these sites is another great idea. Just post one up on your page and you never know what experienced heads will try and answer for you. Don’t forget they will want to appear as experienced in their industry, so it works out for both of ye! All of these ideas will help you to become a graphic designer in the design community.
Engage with inflencers
There are many ways in which you can engage with influencers. You can begin by creating a targeted list of design influencers on a website such as Twitter. This will help you to narrow down the people who you want to be targeting. Remember, you need to keep your social media messaging and email outreach as targeted as possible so you aren’t wasting your own or anyone else’s time. By creating a list such as this, you can follow these relevant accounts and have tailored content on design in your newsfeed. This will also save you from picking out design tweets from a myriad of other content. You can combine your followed accounts of graphic design influencers, designers that inspire you and people who have created designs that you don’t like. The last point may seem odd, but this will help you to understand what you like and don’t like with your graphic design.
Find out what imagery suits your business
It’s essential for a business to find consistent branding. However this is not always easy! To truly find your own identity in the form of visual content, you need to experiment with different options and find the right branding for you. By learning graphic design correctly you can find out a bit more about what you like and don’t like. Finding a visual identity immediately isn’t impossible but more often than not it will take time. If you think of any successful business you should be able to immediately think of their colour schemes and branding. Kit Kat will always be associated with red for example, and Rowntree with light green. A customer’s first impression is so important, which means giving careful thought to what colours and imagery suit your business best is essential. A business owner who makes an effort to improve their graphic design for business will have a key say in this. But just think, a business owner that goes through this process and figures out for himself/herself what imagery works best for the business will really benefit in the long term. That’s not to say he or she should not have any input from team members or anyone else in the business (they should), but having a final say and overview of the branding process, while learning graphic design, is a great advantage for a business owner to have.
Impress investors and stakeholders by learning graphic design
There is nothing more impressive than a business owner who has tried to improve himself/herself or broaden his/her skillset. This sets an example for the rest of the company and creates a positive company culture. However it is also creates an excellent impression for potential investors or current stakeholders. Any business ideas about graphic design or branding are bound to be more credible with an owner who has learned this skill for himself/herself. For example, let’s say you were thinking of changing the branding of your product or service and needed outside investment. Consultation with other stakeholders in the business would also be needed. If a business owner really puts the effort in and has a competent level of graphic design ability, a proposal such as this will probably be considered in a new and more believable light with the experience to back it up. It also gives potential investors something to work with and saves them time from sourcing external graphic designers. A trained business owner in graphic design will not only help his own business today, but also create a long term business environment where investments can be made and change is possible. Creating a culture such as this would be of enormous benefit to any business as it anticipates future trends and potential downfalls. So what are you waiting for? There really is no downside to improving graphic design for business!
Whether you are a small business owneror not, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of learning graphic design. It can and should be viewed as a positive challenge in the workplace for business owners to upskill in graphic design. And remember, don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t go to plan initially. Learning graphic design can take time and patience is required for reaching your potential.
The amount of work required can be intimidating at first, but don’t lose hope! Everyone had to start somewhere and business owners are no different. What’s great about learning graphic design is that everyone has their own path. Not one person will learn graphic design in the same way, so you can set your own path and learn at your own pace.
A business cannot afford poor graphic design. That’s why learning from the top down, and a business owner taking a proactive approach to learning, is a huge bonus for your company. You will also save time and money with effective designs. Creativity rewards, and will allow you to stand out from the competition, make a great first impression and increase conversion rates.