¡Buenas noches!

I am writing this article at night. Thus, please prepare yourself: there’s a slight possibility I will be a bit gibberish, but I’ll surely do my best to get the point across 🙂

The first thing I know for sure, even in the middle of the night, is that design today becomes far more important than ever. For instance, during a pandemic, you need to prove and convince people to spend their money specifically on your product. Packaging design and branding identity come to save your business these days. The second thing I know – the importance of design will be our today’s topic (tonight’s, lo siento).

So, what is design? Why is it so crucial to have an appealing package for the product?

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”

Charles Eames, American designer, architect, and filmmaker

“If no one hates it, no one really loves it.”

Jessica Walsh

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs

Thus, we can compile one extensive definition of the design. Design is a unique way to solve client’s problems, accomplish specific business purposes, and sell the product with no words since its aim is understandable.

Design is ubiquitous

Why is graphic design important? Everything in this world was, is, or will be designed. Let’s go for a quick walk with me from my home to the gym (lockdown has been an arse, and I need to lose some pounds), and I will show you.

Disclaimer – everything mentioned below is based on my taste and is not an advertisement of any kind. I just happen to like these things, that’s all. 

When I was searching for a new flat, I wanted to have a nice interior. Hopefully, the current apartment was designed nicely, and I bet designers spent many hours planning everything. You should pay attention to the wardrobe – I can store all my shoes there! 

This time, I am wearing my favorite pair of Nike’s – the Air Monarchs IV in collaboration with Martine Rose. My friends say they are ugly, but I love them! A great designer’s decision.

Pink Nike Air Monarch IV sneakers collaborate with Martin Rose
Nike Air Monarchs IV – Martine Rose collaboration

Today, I am going to treat myself and choose the business taxi. Wow! Infiniti Q50 arrives, and I love it. This car is on my bucket list for the future. What a design!

When I left the car, the taxi driver gave me his business card. What caught my sight is its design – black matte material with grey lettering and minimalistic decoration. This one would go to my wallet.

Finally, I am at my gym and go exercising. As you may have guessed, I love beautiful clothes, and this time I bought a new Nike uniform. It has an excellent design with leading technologies to keep my body dry.

As you can see, design is ubiquitous and inevitable! Everything we see in the modern world results from graphic design and many hours spent on research. The design resulted in the world we are living in today: starting from ads on the streets and beautiful buildings to these ugly but so stunning Martine Rose sneakers!

Outstanding design is not lying around

It is not a problem to create something people will like. Don’t get me wrong here, I do not underestimate designers’ efforts, but there is a big difference between what people like and what actual customers need. Good design is something that human beings like merely because it is good-looking; it might create a wow moment of some sort but will be quickly forgotten. However, outstanding and effective design is something that people love and use to resolve their pains. So, creating this one is not all easy.

How to create an outstanding design? Lots of research. It is all about being in the client’s shoes instead of not brainstorming ideas out of nowhere. 

For example, a friend of mine, and a fascinating graphic designer, has been working on his latest project for six months. He was asked to develop a branding identity and strategy for the mountaineering boots manufacturer (I just realized that I have too many things connected to shoes, hmm). 

Matt (let’s say ‘hi’ to Matt) has never been to the mountains but decided to take this project. He knows that it’s impossible to create effective branding without understanding customers’ pains. Thus, Matt went climbing with his client’s team to see what climbers feel like, what they need the shoe to do when they are just walking, or which additional functionality would be fantastic to add. 

That is why I have a lot of respect for him and his approach to the beloved job. Oh, I guess I do not have to mention that his client and client’s customers were impressed by the new company branding and goals.

For Matt, as for any other designer, creating an outstanding design is a fascinating but definitely not an easy task. There are always requirements to be met, deadlines to follow, and tons of edits suggested by the reviewers. Approval Studio can help you with the last aspect making the review and feedback collection process much easier with its powerful proofing tool and all-in-one-place approach. Matt is happy with it – would you like to give it a shot?

As you can see, the more you step into the customers’ shoes, the closer you are to the outstanding design – the reflection of consumers’ needs, opinions, and desires. Some things that people will appreciate cannot be made up without being the customer. Do not underestimate the importance of the design thinking process – it’s not a waste of time. It’s much worse if you pretend to be a customer and just sit in your comfortable chair.

Design is changeful

We stated that the right design reflects customers’ needs, and this is the first and foremost reason why design is changing every day. It is connected to the development of literally anything (even crowd opinion).

For example, when a celebrity starts rocking some forgotten pair of shoes, everyone wants to cop those. This is when all the designers of this shoe brand start inventing new colorways for the silhouette. If the mentioned celebrity decides to wear a new pair of shoes the next week, consumers’ preferences will change, and thus the design.

Another argument is development deadlock. Our world is growing so fast that we cannot even imagine. Sometimes I think that the world does not have any design ideas anymore. This is the time when creatives strive to innovate.

Let’s imagine the chocolate bar. I bet you have seen so many that you would not pay attention to anything new on the shelves. BUT, you will pay attention to the colors. This is what designers decided to use to make you buy exactly this chocolate bar. Color psychology is a powerful thing. Do you know why Kit-Kat has a red wrapping? The red color is the most striking color, and it grabs attention first! Experiment: the next time you visit some shop, try to focus on what grabs your attention first in the sweets section. I bet it would be a Kit-Kat 🙂

Kit-Kat chocolate bar in red package
Great, now I want some Kit-Kat… Photo by The New York Times

How is it connected to change and innovation? Some time ago, people did not even think that colors do impact our decisions and brain processes. Once designers understood that they could use the correct colors and it showed results – that was an innovation. That is what became one of the milestones in design development.

Thus, the design changes with the development of technologies, people’s opinions, and, at the same time, development deadlock when you need to find tricky ways to innovate. 

What if design never existed

To be honest, I have been thinking about it for 10 minutes straight but could not come up with something reasonable. It is so hard to grasp that the process of thinking gave me a headache! However, here are some ideas.

Empty skin care bottles
Photo by Beleza Skin Care

First of all, everything in our life would look like a sandwich you take out of your backpack. Yet, when your hand inside touches the food, you realize that there is no lunch box. It does not look that tasty anymore, and everything in your backpack is dirty as hell. Actually, your lunchbox – which you forgot at home, of course – does not have any better appearance because it looks like steel cups in prison.

Secondly, bad design is basically a non-existent design, so there would be lots of terribly looking things if the design never existed. For example, I will show you some holiday concepts we found not only on the internet but on the shelves too! If you think that Christmas is all about joy and beautiful decorations, haha, then you have never been so mistaken. Here is our article about terrible designs and the ways we fixed them.

Third and main argument – it is impossible for design to fully stagnate because it is created by human beings. As people went from apes, the good design went from bad design (possibly even from the examples in the article I mentioned above). Every single person is a unique creation whose brain does incredible things. We strive to develop ourselves and the world around us. If something is not bothering us, then we are comfortable with the current situation. We change only the things that are important to us. And the design is changeful 🙂 

Conclusion

I believe that you are now convinced that design is extremely crucial these days. Every single thing in this world was designed, and we can say for sure that the design is ubiquitous. Your new interior, shoes, dress, and even the tiny teaspoon were designed. However, you would not pay for any of these products if they were not for the solution to your problem. Thus, good design today is far more important than ever because you need to make the customers understand that they need the product because it solves their problems. You need to have your client’s customers pay exactly your client during these challenging times.

This guy knows a lot about branding, have no doubt. He can cover in details everything starting from sports apparel and ending with some Swiss watches or chocolate - whatever you like. A tidbit crazy over sneakers, but nevermind, that's fine for someone who never misses a single football match (please don't call it soccer, otherwise he'll get mad, thank you very much). As well as the rest of the team, very enthusiastic about proofing tools and communication with people.

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