November 2014

When you are starting a business, you will have to choose whether or not to invest in design. To help you with that, this week I’d like to debunk 5 common misconceptions about design.

Misconception 1: My brother/sister/niece/insert-family-member-here can design my materials.

If your brother/sister/niece/etc has a design degree, then go for it!  But design takes training and sensibility. It is more than access to proper software.  It requires research on the industry you are designing for, understanding of trends and years of honed skills – all of which go on behind the scenes. Don’t sell yourself short by skimping on materials that will be part of your first impression.

Misconception 2: I don’t like it, therefore it isn’t good.

Don’t fall into the trap of confusing personal taste with the appeal to your audience. Maybe the creator of Barbie really loved pink – maybe they still do.  Or maybe, more than likely, he or she put their personal feelings aside, since they knew pink would resonate with the hearts of every little girl around the globe. And it worked.

Misconception 3: If I have the designer do this in Word, I can update it myself.

On some levels, this is true. But I have seen too many projects get watered down and lose impact because people insist on updating them themselves. Not only will you get a better product in a professional design program, rather than in Word, but the designer will pay attention to details that you may not consider – such as line breaks, orphans, widows, etc. For a truly professional and polished design, make your edits with a professional.

Misconception 4: I don’t need a printed proof. When I print this, it will look exactly like the version on my screen.

No two screens will ever show color exactly the same.  And since printing is CMYK and screens are RGB, the same is true of color properties.  This is particularly true of printing Pantone colors in CMYK – depending on their ink make-up, it is likely they will lose some of their vibrancy. It is always imperative to check color on a proof when color matching is important to the overall design.

Misconception 5: Designers make it pretty.

Yes, as a matter of fact, we do. But design is about way more than that. Design is an essential part of your brand. It helps sell and persuade. It has concept and purpose, and is more than just pretty pictures for their own sake. A common quote is “Good art sends a different message to everyone. Good design sends the same message to everyone.”

At Stacy Kleber Design, LLC, we take pride in our design and our ability to help our clients. For more information, visit www.skleber.com.

A commonly asked question is, should I be using social media to promote my business?  In today’s digital age, the answer is a resounding yes.

What are the benefits of social media?  Well, first and foremost, almost every social media outlet is about building relationships – and building relationships is at the core of every key business transition.  By building a relationship with your customers, you enhance loyalty and turn them into brand ambassadors and repeat customers.

Social media is also a great way to increase your visibility.  The more you show a consistent outward facing brand, the more likely you are to be top of mind when customers are in a position to buy.

Another benefit is quick, real time feedback from customers.  This will allow you to roll out a product or service and quickly pivot if the reaction is not as expected.  This could potentially mean saved money on ineffective advertising, and new ideas for product development that will enhance the customer experience.

With more and more customers moving online, I think that asking if you should be on social media is entirely the wrong question.  The right question is not whether you should be using it, but rather which outlet is the best in reaching out to customers, and how should you use that outlet…