graphic design
February 5, 2016

Is quality design important to small businesses?

For a small business in an increasingly competitive and entrepreneurial world, the smallest thing can be the difference between standing out from others in the market and fading into the SME background.

Many businesses can see their design and branding presence as a means to an end – just a logo for the top of a website or to whack on a business card, without any real thought for the implications it can have for the customer.

As the way we take information in becomes more and more visual, and businesses have to adapt faster than ever to keep up, it’s time to sit up and take notice of quality design and the impact it can have on your business – both good and bad, depending on how it’s done.

Whether you’re a team of 5 or 5,000, investing in design is seriously important in building a successful future for your business!

The numbers

In 2012, global design marketplace 99designs conducted a survey of 1500 small businesses and startups to get a better understanding of how the role of design is changing in the business world, and how important design is to real small businesses. The results? 49% said they considered design to be very important when it comes to business success, and 31% said that they thought it was moderately important – with only 3% saying it wasn’t important at all.

What would your answer be?

Furthermore, 67% said that they expected graphic design to become an even more important factor of success in their business over the next 5 years.

These figures show that the majority of small businesses are really starting to take investment in design seriously – and these percentages can only have increased in the 4 years since the survey was completed.

First impressions

Ian Wishingrad, founder of the branding company, once said that ‘Good design is like a great suit – everyone takes notice’.

We think that couldn’t be more true! Imagine the first time a customer encounters your logo and branding being like when you first shake hands in a business meeting, or lock eyes on a first date – whatever happens in that moment can affect the success of your relationship thereafter. As much as we can try not to judge a book by it’s cover, people can’t help but make snap judgments based on first impressions, and that applies with brands as well as face to face interactions.

Whatever industry you’re working in, the look and feel of everything from your logo, to your website, to your social media profiles, determines how well you will hook customers in. According to research from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, our eyes take only 2.6 seconds to focus on a specific element of a web page when it loads, and from there, we quickly form an opinion based on what we’ve seen. Adriana Marin of Shutterstock says that this speed of visual first impressions is a big reason why it pays to invest in smart, quality design – for your digital and offline presence.

What it says about you

It’s not possible to underestimate how important design and branding is in getting across your business’s story, it’s personality, it’s values. Whatever customers feels about your company’s visual presence, they feel about your company in general, and that’s why hashing together a logo from good ol’ Microsoft Clip Art just ain’t good enough – even for small businesses or start ups with a small budget.

The more professional your logo and website design is, the more professional your company will be perceived as.

Investing in design is a fantastic opportunity to tell your company’s story in a quick, visual way. Ty Walrod, CEO of Bright Funds, has said that “great design not only conceptually reflects the mission of your company, but also, functionally, it’s the embodiment of that concept”. What does that mean exactly? That the branding you put out there associated with your brand should completely represent who you are in every way. If you want to give a sense of formality, professionalism and security (a law firm, for example), then subtle colours and minimal imagery are probably a good way to go. If your company is all about fun, innovation and creativity, then an injection of colour and quirkier typography will help you express this. What’s important is that you use your branding as an opportunity to explore who you are as a company, and then put that out there to the public.


The design and branding associated with your company is often the first touchpoint a customer has with you, and it can ultimately shape the way your audience actually relates to your business. Don’t skimp out on it – if you’re serious about building a successful business, you also need to see the importance in investing in great design and branded materials.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help with the design and artwork for your printed bags, give us a call! You can contact us on 0191 268 7555, or drop us an email at


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