It Pays to Pay for Good Design

I had one of those moments the other day.

You know, the kind where you’re driving behind another vehicle and you hope you’re both headed in the same direction and pleasepleaseplease don’t exit the roundabout right now because you really need to – hey, wait, GET BACK HERE – stop at the same traffic light so you can take a photo of the van-truck thing that is now motoring off into the sunset without you.

Le sigh.

Sound familiar?

Maybe you wanted to capture a bumper sticker. (I stumbled upon one just recently. It was political in nature, so I’ll abstain from getting into it on here.)

Maybe you wanted to capture a license plate. (During my first year as an Arizona resident, I pulled up to a red light right behind a car sporting a plate from the county I had lived in before I moved out here. I fumbled for my phone, snapped a picture, then stared like a moron at the elderly driver and his wife when we eventually ended up next to each other in adjacent lanes.)

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Or in my case with the van-truck thing, maybe you wanted to capture some really horrendous graphic design on the side of the vehicle with the intention of taking it to work the following morning and showing all your art-minded co-workers so you could collectively laugh about it while asking each other why clip art won’t just die already.

(For real, though, why won’t it?)

Needless to say, I was embarrassed for the driver, embarrassed for his van-truck thing and embarrassed for his neighbors, who are probably pooling their money together at this very moment to purchase one of those ‘90s-era PE class parachutes to throw on his vehicle when it’s parked in his driveway so they don’t have to look at the shoddy design on the side of it.


In all seriousness, we can … as long as we remember that image really is everything.

There’s a saying that goes, “Beauty attracts the eye, but personality captures the heart.” It’s solid advice on Pinterest, and it can be solid advice for your business if you’re willing to think about it a little differently. People will stay if the product and the service behind it are good, but they won’t have the opportunity to do so if you can’t draw them in first.

Quality design here. You rang?

If your company demands brochures and business cards and anything else that may need to be subjected to the design process, don’t leave their creation up to the employee who doesn’t know a thing about InDesign but is a whiz at Microsoft Word. This is that important first impression everyone and their dog has told you about. It’s why you don’t show up for a job interview in a Snuggie or – worse yet – nothing at all, and it’s why you shouldn’t be driving around in a company vehicle that’s been spackled with the bowels of MS Paint.

Good design is going to cost you money, but consider it an investment in your future.

Consider it the difference between customers dialing your number when there’s a puddle of water on the kitchen floor instead of calling your competition because they correlate the quality of your plumbing to the quality of the artwork splashed across the side of your van/car/truck/whatever.

Consider it the difference between this and this.

It’s a fundamental fact of life: You get what you pay for.

If you didn’t learn this lesson years ago when you hit up that $4.99 pizza buffet and everything tasted like Kitty Litter, you should have.

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Six Degrees
Six Degrees uses psycho-sensory tools and techniques to build more successful national and global brands. Brands are rooted in human perception. And our psycho-sensory approach is designed to identify deeper and richer insights from human perception and then develop brand communications that change suboptimal perceptions or reinforce the right perceptions. More than 80 percent of the information humans process is nonverbal, making it essential that brands manage the sensory signals they send out. Our people are passionate branding experts wielding powerful psycho-sensory tools to build stronger and more successful brands across the globe.

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