Looking Good: The Importance of Quality Graphic Design

Via Markus Spiske | Flickr

I’ve written on end about the importance of content and why you need to include images in your social media marketing. I’ve mentioned the power of SEO and website design. But I want to expand on the importance of quality over quantity, especially when it comes to graphic design. Having a few hundred low-quality images and visual components for your blog or site can be more damaging to your ranking (and your bottom line) than having none at all. Let’s dive into the reason that quality graphic design is so important to successful marketing and discuss how to separate the fabulous from the frauds.

What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design, simply put, is the process of combining visual elements (like text and images) in an appealing way. It also refers to the artistic output of this process. Graphic designers are artists who lend their expertise to businesses by creating appealing advertisements, logos, website layouts, and more. Some designers use already-available stock images, some are photographers themselves, and some can draw or paint a masterpiece in ten minutes or less. They understand visual principles such as positive and negative space and how to draw someone’s eye in exactly the direction they want it to go.

Why Does Graphic Design Matter?
Then again, there are some “graphic designers” on the web who couldn’t draw their way out of a wet paper bag. They slap elements together with no regard for the principles of design because they don’t know any better. They haven’t had formal training and haven’t taken the time to learn the building blocks on their own. The reason that quality graphic design — be it your logo, the photo for your blog, or the layout of your site – matters so much is that first impressions count.  If your site looks like it was put together by a five-year-old with a graphics tablet, your prospects will get the impression that quality and professionalism are not important to you.

How Can I Find a Great Designer?
It’s not feasible for many small and medium businesses to hire a full-time graphic designer, but finding a freelancer can be tricky. Always check the portfolio of the artist (and fact-check it, too) and remember that you get what you pay for. Would you rather have a $5 tattoo or a $500 tattoo? Outrageous rates come with fantastic work, and there’s a method to the pricing madness. Time + effort + skill + materials needed = premium prices. If you want more bang for your buck, you can find a talented designer who still needs to build their portfolio (their prices are generally lower for high-quality work).

When looking for a bargain, if the price seems a little steep for what you want done, but not quite outrageous, chances are the artist is right for you. And, if you don’t want to have to surf the web or call around to find a graphic designer you can both trust and afford, you can always hire a third party (like a content marketing project manager) who knows where to look to do it for you.

Via Julian Partridge | Flickr

Remember, as important as looking good is to first impressions, it’s only half the battle. You need to sound good, too. Quality visuals are only part of the content marketing equation. The words you pair with them have to be as pretty as the pictures themselves or you’re doing your business a massive disservice. That’s where I come in. I can help you get the best quality content, with high-quality visuals and high-quality written material, all in one made-for-your-business package.