Powerful design: what's the difference that makes the difference?

By: Fiona Humberstone

Date: 4 May 2011

Powerful design enables you to connect with your ideal clients. It’ll help you attract, engage and seduce them into buying from you or working with you, and of course, it’s a wider thing than just design. It’s about your powerful design fitting into a powerful brand strategy.

How can you be sure, when you’re working with a design agency, that they’re going to provide you with powerful design and not just good design?

What is the difference that makes the difference?

Powerful design requires an in-depth understanding of your business, your objectives and your customers. Run a mile from anyone who asks you what colours you want or to sketch out how you’d like something to look.

Powerful design takes time. Coming up with creative concepts that will really connect with your audience and unlock something within them doesn’t happen in a matter of moments. It’s going to take time to develop those concepts and produce polished artwork.

Powerful design uses colour psychology to unlock your goals, values and message and also use it to authentically communicate with your ideal clients. There’s more to colour psychology than simply knowing that blue is calming and red can be aggressive. Colour psychology enables us to help our clients communicate coherently, authentically and with clarity.

Powerful design is creative. When we create powerful design we think outside the box. A business that works with large corporates should have a website that is bland and safe, right? Wrong! A designer must tap into a client’s brand values and company ethos to create a site that firmly differentiates their company from their competitors and enables them to connect with their customers. Oh, and win a whole pile more business.

Powerful design sweats the small stuff. Often the difference that makes the difference is the attention to detail. When you look through a powerfully designed website, it’s not just the homepage that looks lovely — that strong design runs throughout the site and reassures and engages.

Powerful design will cost you more than good design. You need to find a really good agency – one that has a firm understanding of not just how to layout a page, but typography, design trends and colour psychology. They’ll probably be very serious about investing in their team, which means that their hourly rate will reflect that. They won’t be the cheapest, but they will give you the best results.

Fiona Humberstone is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and runs her own creative consultancy.