On a journey to work I was studying a company’s van. I forget now but it was something to do with solar installations. The layout of the information on it was brash, unclear and obviously created with only an average understanding of effective layout; there was too much information on there and the logo ran over an image, distorting it slightly.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the worst I’d seen, they had a decent logo at least, and, while you might not call it a design crime, it was certainly a misdemeanor.
Well, I started thinking: “Based on what I saw, what did I think of that company?” Putting myself in the shoes of potential customer, and assuming I was interested in their service, I probably would have given them a them a call for a quote; while they didn’t look the most professional and premium, they did look reputable and probably competitive on price - of course this is just my opinion. Am I the type of person they want to call them? Well, that I might never know.
All this from 45 seconds sat at traffic lights? Well, yes! Maybe other people might not break it down in this way but the same psychological processes will be happening, the same quick decisions being made.
Every aspect of a company’s brand communicates to the outside world on a continual basis. Every aspect must be considered and designed for the right market, positioning the company in the right price range, projecting the right values. All this has a huge impact for the company, and this goes for small businesses, SME’s, right through to the blue chips too.
And finally, to link back to the title of the post. If you apply this same kind of thinking but with ultra-budget, low-cost services, does bad design work? What I mean is: does someone look at a rusty transit van with a dodgy home-made logo on the side (written in Comic Sans or Copper Plate, no doubt) and think: “Hmmm, I’m looking for cheap and they just might have it on offer”. Maybe they’ve got their branding spot on after all.
It was certainly worth a spare thought on a drive to work. What else was I going to do?