Is Design Really That Important?

Graphic Design is an interesting profession. It falls somewhere between professional photography and artist for hire when it comes to how people view its necessity. Sure, if zombies were to attack this world, and we were forced to live together in small communities, I highly doubt a graphic designer would be the one to step up and lead us to victory over the undead hordes. That role usually goes to the doctors and politicians, and so on. But we’re not living in a post-apocalyptic world. We live in our world, which is filled with beautiful things, whether made naturally or by the creative eye of someone with a design background.

But, the argument here isn’t whether or not design is great (and pretty to look at), rather if it’s necessary. Can a business survive with minimal design effort? In this day and age, with thousands of startups launching every day, are new and old businesses able to keep up without constantly updating their look to match modern design standards?

The answer is…yes!

As the person in charge of design and creativity at PNT, you would think I would use an article like this to sell my skills and why you should be using us for your next website upgrade. I’m sure someone out there is scratching their heads right now. I’ll say it again, “it’s not necessary to have good design in order to be a successful business this day and age.”

Am I saying you should ditch design all together? No! Just make sure you’re aware of the fact that without a stellar product or service, it really doesn’t matter what your brand looks like. You cannot afford to have bad customer service, or a slow shipping product, etc. With the power of social media and the likelihood that someone will post a bad experience to Facebook and Twitter, lock down your services before you throw your entire budget into making your image beautiful.

Image courtesy of Masseria Cisternella

Image courtesy of Masseria Cisternella

My example for today’s “argument” is Masseria Cisternella, a bed and breakfast located near Lecce, Italy. I came across their site today and was immediately drawn in by how clean and charming it was. This, of course goes against everything I just said. A pretty site drew me in, hmmm. So for argument’s sake, I did some poking around. They have excellent reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and All in all, they’ve got it together. Not only is their social image doing well, but I’m sure their aesthetically pleasing site isn’t turning anyone away from possibly booking a stay with them. The bottom line is, if Masseria Cisternella had horrible ratings, it really wouldn’t matter how pleasing their website looked. Sure, it might catch a few people off guard, but eventually, word would get out that this place is deceiving, and they would notice their attendance drop. Whether or not Masseria chose to have a pretty site before they secured their business is not certain, but seeing as these villas were converted from ancient farmhouses, at least the foundation was there!

Check out the site at:

Get your brand in order. That’s the goal of today’s write-up. Make sure things are running smoothly before you invest too much time and money in making it look pretty. And, never, NEVER, use nice design elements to mask a poorly executed product. That’s the easy way out, and just plain sleazy!

I would love to have a discussion on this, so feel free to post a comment below. Let’s get a debate going! How important is design to you, to your business, and to where you spend your hard earned money?

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