How often do you take the time to stop and think about the connection between visual design and human emotion? One software company did. It surveyed nearly 300 brands from around the world and analyzed the value of design in the role of captivating audiences.[1]

Note the authors of the report:

The level of design in marketing materials says a lot about an organization. Amateur visuals convey less professionalism, while cohesive visuals unify a brand with a high level of polish that conveys more exceptional professionalism. This polish builds credibility and trust in businesses and can help increase sales.

As one marketing executive pointed out, if you sell a $500 million project and have an old-school logo or materials, you don’t send the message that you’re a company that [your customers] should entrust with $500 million.” No wonder 98% of survey respondents say quality visual design is critical to maintaining strong relationships with their audiences.

“Great” is more than just the layout and images, however. It’s how all of the visual components work together to communicate ideas.

How do you do this?

  • Make your design simple.
  • Make it beautiful.
  • Make it easy for people to understand and to act.

As one survey participant explained, “The goal is to be able to share information so that it can be understood with as little contextual information as possible.” (On a side note, this is why infographics are so powerful—they communicate a tremendous amount of information in a graphic format that is quick and easy to understand. These same principles can be applied in print.) The more simple and explicit content is, the faster people can “hook into it” and find the action they should take.

How can you create compelling designs? Start by eliminating the silos in the design process and move toward a more collaborative environment where everyone works together.

Concludes the report:

When sales, product management, business, and creative leaders work together, they can re-imagine marketing content in ways never done before. [Often,] they pair with a business or creative counterpart  . . . to drive marketing and branding decisions together.

Whether it’s direct mail, email, marketing collateral, or wide-format graphics, visual design matters. Are you giving it the priority that it deserves?

[1] Widen “Connectivity Report 2020”