Why Design is Important in Making First Impressions
Think about how fast you scroll through social media; each post has only seconds to catch your attention. That is how the world sees your branding - for a second. If someone walks down the street towards you in a branded tee you only have seconds to notice it. Maybe you’re at a restaurant, it’s chilly, and sitting across the room is someone wearing a branded jacket; even then you only spend a split second noticing what one person in a crowded room is wearing.
UNLESS something catches your eye and grabs your attention. With only seconds to make a first impression, great visual design is what makes the difference. Design is what makes you noticeable. When you become noticeable, you have the chance to become memorable.
Problem is - many businesses don’t see design as an investment and often turn to stock art and namedrop designs believing this will be good enough. Turns out, “good enough” is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to design. We are living in a world filled with media, ads, and digital art galore in which case “good enough” will not set you apart or grab a person’s attention.
How Baked in Costs Diminish the Value of Paid Artwork
Companies that provide free art, art that involves a templated design, are doing a disservice to professional graphic designers everywhere. When customers pay for artwork they can understand design value, since the art is completely unique and intentionally curated for their brand. Do not be fooled, all design is not equal.
The Process of a Professional Designer
By sharing our custom artwork process we hope to show you why professional design has more value than template-based art.
Be Intentional: We take the time to understand our clients. Who are their customers? What is their age, sex, race, style, etc? Major retail brands spend millions of dollars on research, development, and market analysis to ensure their colors, designs, and styling are on trend. If we do this once for faithful clients, we can use it as a foundation for future design work.
Ideation/Mood Boards: This is a part of custom design creation that free artwork completely overlooks. This can take only a few minutes to ensure a design will resonate. If we relied solely on our designer, his idea of “cool” may not be what the client had imagined. Customers know what they like and dislike visually but can’t always translate it well into words. We use Pinterest or the website designinspiration.net to create a board for our clients to participate in the ideation process. This way we know what the client is looking for in terms of colors and styles before we even begin putting pen to paper.
Sketching and Concepts: It’s easier to develop designs in sketches and concepts before going directly to the digital stage. Not only does sketching save time when moving to digital art, but it also provides an opportunity to offer multiple styles. Customers then can communicate which design resonates with their brand goals. From here, we are well prepared to start the real magic.
Design and Presentation: Now, the design is digitized and comes to life with colors, textures and depth. When the design is ready, we create a mock up on the requested garment as well as other other garments and trending products. This can inspire customers to create a cohesive product mix beyond a single item or spark ideas for future products with us.
Design-it-yourself programs have benefited shops lacking artwork resources and distributors with small teams or no design department. We understand free artwork can be ideal for projects in a pinch or small, one-time events.
Our goal is to help customers be unique and appeal to their audience--leading to sales. We want everyone to avoid being stuck with lifeless inventory but rather produce a product that speaks to clients’ lifestyles and is visually pleasing.