As a graphic designer, I often get asked by small business owners why they should prioritise investment in establishing a visual identity and cohesive design principles in the early stages of growth. It doesn’t always feel easy to answer; essentially telling somebody that they should be spending money on a collection of colours, shapes and fonts, on top of so many other expenses like product development and market research.
The truth is, it is an easy answer. And I tend to use the following analogy to make the point.
A business is a living organism. It is a breathing, moving, talking entity. And just like a living organism, a business requires the right parts assembled in the right way in order for it to function.
You already have the brain; that’s you. That’s the thought that you have put into your idea, nurturing it to life. You already have the legs; that’s how you’ve hit the ground running. You have the hands; the ability to assemble the different parts of your business into a coherent structure. You certainly have the heart; that’s the countless hours of work that you’ve put in. But just having these parts isn’t enough to create a functioning, living organism. You also need a face.
A face is the part of a business that greets customers for the first time. A face is the part that smiles at people. A face is the part that is instantly recognisable to your customers around the world.
Design is the face of your business. By investing in a visual identity, you are investing in how your customers view the personality of your business. By investing in cohesive design principles, you are investing in the manner by which you communicate to your audience.
That is why the answer is so easy.