In 2002 the Design Council UK released a report The Value of Good Design. Although more than 15 years old and related to design of physical environments, it raises points that still hold strong: people work more productively in well designed spaces; well designed schools improve children’s education; and well designed houses will increase in value quicker than average.
In other words, good design leads to increased productivity, improved performance and better outcomes. So why wouldn’t this same logic apply to content design?
In fact, the Design Council UK went further, quantifying the exact impact of design on businesses in a later report, The Value of Design Factfinder Report.
The findings of this 2007 report are significant – and serve to inform both brands and marketers:
And perhaps most notably of all, design-led businesses – as indexed by the Design Council – outperformed FTSE 100 companies by more than 200% in the decade to 2007. “It’s clear evidence of a relationship between design investment, business performance and long-term stock market value,” the report concluded.
So you know you need to think about design, but where does design fit in your content creation? And what type of design do you need?
To borrow the words of Mike Monteiro, design director and co-owner of Mule Design Studio and author of ‘Design Is a Job and You’re My Favorite Client‘: “Design happens whether you’re aware you’re doing it or not paying attention. Nothing is undesigned. Things are badly designed, well designed, and points between.”
The message for content marketers is a straightforward one: It’s impossible to remove design from the content creation process. Even the act of neglecting design results in a final design – albeit a less favourable one.
“Design is a way of arranging words and graphics in a visually appealing and easily understandable fashion, which helps to increase reader enjoyment, and thus, increase engagement,” says Turtl designer Alistair MacRobert.
“Design happens whether you’re aware you’re doing it or not paying attention. Nothing is undesigned. Things are badly designed, well designed, and points between.” – Mike Monteiro, designer and author
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