It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it


When I worked in publishing I was lucky enough to be mentored by an amazing man called Stanley Glazer. Stanley was old school.  He didn’t much like computers, he believed the best decisions were made over lunch and he just “knew” design. He had it in his bones and he loved sharing his love of it with others. And one of his favourite sayings was “it doesn’t matter how much is written, but how much is read and understood”.

Because Stanley knew that you can write the most beautiful prose, formulate the most compelling argument or develop a truly groundbreaking product but if nobody notices then who cares?

We all know companies that get it right. When they share their thoughts, services and products they present them consistently and on brand every time. Think The Economist, Nike, or Apple. You notice them and you know its THEM without being told.

“But they are huge and we don’t have that level of reach or budget,” I hear you cry. Well yes but the one thing we do share with these industrial giants is that we all have an identity. Or at least we should. And every time we say or do anything we present that identity to customers and how we do that affects how they think of us.

Like many people, when I connect with a new company I immediately check their website. And rightly or wrongly that first impression hugely affects my opinion. If the logo is dated or the website is jumbled, disordered, and hard to navigate then maybe they are too. If their identity doesn’t match their product, if they say they are innovative and groundbreaking but they look anything but, do I believe them? How a company says something is just as important as what they are saying and that is the same however big their turnover.

And that is why we think that all brands, no matter how big or small, deserve to look good. We think they should look professional, engaged and creative. Wether it’s a simple website, investor deck or annual report we think it should be the best representation of the brand that it can be. And not just the same logos and fonts but the style, the feel, the identity. Because anything less is selling the company short. You wouldn’t go to a meeting half dressed so why present your great idea half finished?

But don’t just take my word for it. As a final thought for those that still contend that products can speak for themselves – research by consulting group McKinsey shows that the top performing companies on the McKinsey Design Index, those that take design most seriously, grow their revenue and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry peers*. Taking design seriously makes you money!

As the late great Terry Hall once sang: “It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it and thats what gets results”

Forty6 Design is a branding and design agency that thinks all organisations, in all walks of business, deserve to look good. We provide creative ideas and beautiful design to tech giants, charities, and even the RAF, with a speciality in biotech, healthcare and life science companies. So if you are creating a new brand, have an existing one that could do with a bit of a refresh, or you just want to reinvigorate your communications drop us a line and let’s start a conversation. We are forty6 design and we make business look better.
*The business value of design, McKinsey Quarterly, October 25, 2018

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