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The Emperor’s New Clothes: Is Your Design Fit For Purpose?

Manchester design studio

A brand without design is like a singer without a backing band. The two go hand in hand, and without design your website, business cards, flyers and brochures will look bland and devoid of inspiration. However, that doesn’t mean painting by numbers to fill in the gaps where design should go.

Making an impact with your marketing collateral relies on clever design that captures the essence of your brand. If it’s not right for your business, you could be parading in the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Let’s take a look at why it’s so important to invest in design that’s fit for purpose:

Mutton dressed as lamb

Design should be an expression of your brand, where it’s come from, and where it’s going. So what might suit a young, dynamic startup might look out of place for a third generation family business. Similarly, a startup could risk looking too big for its boots by adopting the persona of a more experienced, reputable company.

This is because an established business can rely on association; prospects and customers are likely to recognise the logo, font or colours of the brand. Startups simply don’t have this luxury, which makes it vital to keep the design clear, simple and easy to understand.

Attack of the aesthetics

In an effort to grab the attention of your audience, it’s tempting to fill your posters, leaflets and pamphlets with eye-catching design. However, beware of aesthetic overkill! Cramming images and graphics into your template could risk alienating your audience, and confusing the message you’re trying to communicate. Less is more in the design world, so avoid going overboard with fancy details.

A scattergun approach

Your business cards may have a different purpose to your brochure, but they should be recognisable as part of the same brand. It’s essential to maintain consistency as much as possible when producing marketing collateral, so find a colour scheme, font and design you like, and stick to it.

Think of these materials as a wardrobe – every outfit needs to slot into your overall style. So whilst it may feel good parading out in a shiny new design, your audience will soon notice if the brand identity beneath is naked. To build a loyal following for your business, integrity is key.

Innovation is a core component of branding and design, but it’s important to avoid the temptation of designing for the sake of aesthetics. To ensure your materials are fit for purpose, your designs must align to your brand identity and slot into your overall marketing efforts.

Are your design efforts missing the mark? Rethink your branding with creative insights from your local print studio. Indigo offer an end-to-end service for graphic design and printing in Manchester – and beyond! Swing by our Trafford Park studio for a free design assessment, or email sales@indigo-litho.co.uk to get a second opinion.