There have been a couple times throughout my career that I have been asked if the creative aspect of graphic design really matters. In other words, does the creativity and the quality of the design of a marketing piece have to be high or is it simply enough to just have the piece with the information on it?

That question has always rubbed me the wrong way. I want to say of course it matters! Likely because I am a designer and want to defend my trade. But thankfully, my biased point of view is also the truth. Let's examine this a little bit below the surface.

We know all marketing/branding/advertising efforts are made in an attempt to gain the attention of some segment of a market place. Design is a huge factor in accomplishing that desired goal. Suppose that Company A is competing with Company B. They offer the same service/product at the same price and they are located across the street from each other. Let's assume there are a number of other similarities and the only real difference between them is the business cards they hand out to prospective customers. Company A has a really creative business card and Company B has a bland card. Company A now has an edge over Company B because more people are likely to hold onto and use a well-designed/creative card.

This thought does not just apply to business cards but brochures, letterhead, websites, advertisements, billboards and anything else someone can see and react to. Now I realize that the above scenario isn't entirely realistic but the element of creating an edge for your organization over another remains true. It is about doing everything as best as you can to get the best result possible.

Budget's don't always allow for getting high-end marketing pieces, but where there is a will there is a way. Creative doesn't always equal expensive. But even if it does come at a cost, there are strategies you can apply like figuring out which basket is the best one to put your marketing eggs into and invest into the area to get you and your organization to where you need to be.

For this post I used the example of business cards because I wanted to share this collection of creative business card designs. They are some of the nicest cards I have seen. So nice in fact that they would be hard to throw away... Furthermore, they were so nice that they have been featured on numerous websites. Now that is exposure! Mission accomplished to the designers!

Lastly because the designers and more importantly, the clients, placed a level of importance on the presentations of these cards, they have been rewarded for their efforts and investments. The effort and cooperation between designer and client has produced something beautiful and functional (the function being the recipients reaction). This theory is not just true for business cards but all design/branding efforts.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.