The Power of Good Design

Good design is good business.
—Thomas J. Watson Jr.

When I retrieved my mail from the box at the end of the driveway one day last week, I found a piece of direct mail buried among the bills and store circulars. The number 10 envelope was fairly nondescript, and once I realized it didn’t contain personal correspondence, I nearly tossed it unopened into the recycling bin right away. But then my glance landed on the company name, and because I happen to be personally acquainted with the vice president of this organization, I opened the envelope to see what he had to say—and to take a peek at how his company (an HVAC contractor) marketed itself.

The letter promoted the company’s new residential HVAC maintenance program, which sounded like a great deal. Unfortunately, my hunch is that the vast majority of recipients never bothered to open the letter and consider the company’s offer. They had a good reason to ignore the mailing: on the surface, it looked just like all the other generic “spray and pray” mass mailings that appear in their mailboxes (and mine!) every day.

Think about this scenario. How often have you received lackluster marketing materials—or ignored them entirely because they failed to grab your attention or quickly convey their purpose to you? Or, even worse, have often have you sent out similarly uninspiring materials yourself?

Design is about making things good (and then better) and right
(and fantastic) for the people who use and encounter them.
—Matt Beale

Although Mamu Media is a relatively new company, my partner and I have worked in the staffing and marketing industries for many years. During that time, countless marketing materials have crossed our desks (not to mention the stuff that shows up in our mailboxes at home!), so we have plenty of experience in evaluating all sorts of outreach documents. We’ve seen some very good pieces—and some pretty bad ones, too. So when we decided to launch Mamu Media, we understood the importance of every single design decision for our custom and branded publications.

From the outset we knew that we wanted our publications to communicate our clients’ messages effectively. That’s not an earth-shattering insight: every marketer and publisher out there has a similar goal. The secret to achieving that goal lies in realizing that the design and presentation are part of the message, too. When they’re good, they can entice your audience to explore what you have to say. And when they’re bad, they can drive your audience away before you even get a chance to state your case.

In order to produce a top-notch product, we’ve taken the time to find and hire top-notch people. Our experienced designers choose artwork, layouts, colors, and typefaces that combine to form an aesthetic that not only is visually appealing but also communicates both tone and message effectively. Experts and thought leaders write the magazine’s content, and professional editors make sure that no typos or errant commas distract the reader from engaging with the useful information within its pages.

Careful consideration has even gone into choosing high-quality paper and printing. Think about the difference between a sheet of heavyweight glossy paper and a sheet of flimsy matte paper—and what meanings each carries.

The only important thing about
design is how it relates to people.
—Victor Papanek

Based on our experience and research, we’ve managed to put together publications that work. People connect with our design, which in turn allows them to connect with our content. And that, in turn, makes our magazine extremely powerful outreach vehicles.

As you think about how to market your services or products, don’t underestimate the power of good design. It’s a critical aspect of effective messaging, because if you can’t grab your audience’s attention right from the start, your marketing efforts will be ineffective—and will likely take a one-way trip to the recycling bin and never have a chance to work for you.

 

 

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