« Back to Blog August 3, 2016 | Branding

When to Invest in Design

You are starting your dream business. You’re putting the pieces together to get this dream of yours off the ground to start making money. You want to get a logo and website so you can look professional, so you should hire a designer, right?

Probably not.

It pains me to say it (seeing as I am a designer after all) but brand new businesses who have little money to invest should only invest in their business at first. Getting a template website and a simple logo is all you truly need to start doing business.

So why would you ever need a designer if this is the case?

Design is simultaneously both extremely crucial and completely unimportant to a business’s growth. Design alone can’t make your business grow, but it can give you the boost you need at the right moment to take things to the next level.

Investing Too Early or Too Late

I’ve built wonderful websites and brands for businesses that, to be frank, were run by people who didn’t have their priorities straight. As a result, their websites never brought them the success they imagined. They thought that if they sunk 5 figures into a website and brand, it would just start making them money immediately.

If they had invested their money into proving their concept before investing so heavily in their brand, they might have found that success they were hoping for.

On the flip-side, I can’t tell you how many large companies I’ve built cheap websites for that had no brand identity. None. Zero. Ziltch. Literally, nothing.

These were companies that had established themselves and were growing but didn’t see the value in investing in a proper brand identity. To them, business was doing “fine” so spending the money on getting their brand in order wasn’t worth it. That is the moment when a business needs to invest in design the most.

A solid brand identity elevates a business to another level.

When Do I need a designer?

“Are you saying I need to invest thousands of dollars into my entire brand identity at once or else I won’t be successful?”

No, but if you are capable, you should.

If you can’t, just do your best without losing your mind. Having your company name set in a nice typeface is a perfectly acceptable logo. Using a Squarespace theme to get your first website up is a fantastic option. Businesses thrive and grow with these simple origins all the time, so don’t feel like you need the best at the start.

In time, with success, you will outgrow that template website and want something custom designed. Eventually you will feel that your first logo no longer represents what you’ve grown in to, and you’ll want a new logo. That’s when it makes the most sense to invest in a professionally designed brand identity.

Design elevates, but it doesn’t carry.

So what is the moral of this story? Do brand identities even matter if you can find success without it?

It all comes back to the idea of elevating. Design elevates, but it doesn’t carry. Design can give a growing company the boost it needs to reach that next level, but it doesn’t do it alone. It needs a business owner with vision and drive to keep the dream going.

Building a brand identity is a partnership. It takes a business owner who cares and a designer who can bring the vision to life. That’s when truly memorable design and experiences happen.

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