And many other things that are little tougher to define, but no less important.
First things first. At Planit, design isn’t viewed as the stepchild of art direction. Likewise, designers are not the handmaidens of “those who do the big thinking.” Design is a critical part of executing our big ideas. And, lo and behold, sometimes it is the big idea. Don’t believe us? Fine. Ask Steve Jobs how significant design is to his empire . . . ahem, business.
At Planit, design manifests itself in many ways. Illustration. Graphic design. Words placed on a page just so. A logo that says it perfectly, without saying a word. But often design is less concrete than that. Sometimes it’s a mindful eye for details or a more elegant or irreverent or conservative way to present information (regardless of whether it’s in a brochure, on the web, or hanging off the collar of your company’s snazzy new coat in the form of a hangtag). In a world of mind-numbing product parity, if you don’t have a truly unique selling proposition, how do you make your product stand out or get your message heard? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.
How do you quantify the results of good design? In a word, you don’t. OK, that’s two words, but still. To use Mr. Jobs as an example once again, is there any question that design has added to Apple’s bottom line? Yet, there’s no trackable discount code or scientific ROI differential for it. It just is. Need something more concrete than that? OK, how about the reaction you get when design appeals to your audience. In an instant, they get it. They love it. And all is right. Point is, if you’re looking for concrete-no-question-about-it-this-directly-leads-to-that results from design, well, the road may be a rough one. On the other hand, we’re pretty sure poorly executed design will deliver that very well. That is, unless you’re looking for something positive.