The Artist Within
So you think you are not an artist? Not surprising, according to one of the top designers at Hallmark Cards. Gordon McKenzie tells a story about visiting schools and getting the same answer, over and over, when he asked students to raise their hands if they were artists. In kindergarten and first grade classes, EVERY hand went up. By second grade, only about three-fourths raised their hands. By third grade, only a few held their hands high and by sixth grade, NO ONE had a hand in the air.
This does not omen well in a world where designers are key to the transmission of messages.
Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind”, says design is a combination of utility and significance. He says, “A graphic designer must whip up a brochure that is easy to read. That’s utility. But at its most effective, her brochure must also transmit ideas or emotions that words themselves cannot convey. That’s significance. A furniture designer must craft a table that stands up properly and supports its weight (utility). But the table must also possess an aesthetic appeal that transcends functionality (significance)."
Two graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design took this awareness of significance to a whole new level when they founded www.airbnb.com In five years, their startup has grown to a company reporting $500 million in transactions. It allows homeowners to rent their spare rooms and has been called the world’s hottest hotel chain.
They did many thinks “backwards”:
So if you are NOT a designer like Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia and Paul Graham, make sure that the designer you hire is someone who “gets” your vision and your product.
As a graphic designer, I'm a little bit biased. Graphics make things look prettier. But let's be realistic. Without good copywriting, there is nothing to pretty up.
Imagine getting a brochure in the mail with nothing but pictures. They're pretty pictures. But "So what?" you say. What do they mean? What is the marketer who sent this to me trying to say? We aren't cavemen looking at drawings on a wall, after all.
If that makes sense to you, then you understand the dilemma of a modern-day marketer. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but unless they accompany actual words, they're just pictures in a vacuum. You need great copywriting too.
In fact, savvy marketers know that it is the copywriting that actually sells and gets the reader to take action. It's the words on the web page that get the click-through. It's the words in the brochure, or on the billboard, that get the reader to pick up the phone and call you. The graphics are there to support the copy, not the other way around.
It's important in marketing to make sure you get the horse and the cart in the proper order. If you don't, you might not get anywhere.
5 Practical Web Design Tips
Website design is both an art and a science. There is something about a unique website design that keeps visitors returning and customers buying. No matter what type of business you are in, here are 5 practical web design tips that can help you as you build your first business site online.
Follow these 5 simple and practical tips the next time you design a website and you will improve your prospects for higher rankings, more visitors, and better results.