Do Your Graphics (In)Validate Your Business?

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

Are you intentional when it comes to the design choices you make for your business and how you communicate to the public?

When people see your advertisements, pick up your carry-out menu or brochure, visit your website or walk into your business, do they have a feeling of confidence that you are the right business for them?


Let me explain.


My father-in-law was a hard-working well-driller for decades. He was pretty no-nonsense and didn't think he had any need for snazzy graphics.


Over coffee one morning he was asking about my work and we started talking about the importance of branding and good design. He was convinced that a business only needed—at most—a yellow page listing and maybe a windbreaker with the name of the company on it—and even then, it didn't really matter how any of it looked.


Later that day, we were walking down a street in his hometown and something happened to catch my eye that I thought would help illustrate the importance of having intentional design to represent your business.


It was a downtown storefront with a glass door and two flanking display windows. The display area was empty with the exception of an empty McDonald's bag and wrappers lying on the dated gold-colored carpet. Taped to the front door was a torn-out sheet of spiral-bound paper with "McCutchen Attorney at Law. Open 8-5 p.m" handwritten with a Sharpie.


Instantly I questioned in my mind if this lawyer was trustworthy because who wouldn't feel a little uneasy with a guy who wouldn't invest just a little in the image of his business? Thinking I had the perfect illustration, I asked my father-in-law if he would be inclined to hire this attorney if he was ever in need of legal services.


Of course, he instantly knew that I had made my point, but not wanting to concede, he quickly responded with a smirk, saying, "Of course I would hire him! I'm sure he's just a regular, hard-working guy who's too busy with legal work to worry about signs and stuff like that."


I chuckled because I knew I wasn't going to be able to change his mind (or at least admit it) but you'll be happy to know, I remained his favorite son-in-law nonetheless.