What Is a Signature Design Style?
I recently outlined how a designer’s unique perspective is essential to innovation and solving design problems. From the client perspective, a signature design style is the unique visual representation of your brand.
Design constraints are a reality, but it is our duty as professionals to take the time to make sure that brand and style are not ignored.
It is reflected throughout your entire brand system: from your logo and colors, to the typography and layout of your website. And because your brand reflects your values at every touch point, a signature design style allows you to make these value statements loud and clear! It adds clarity to potential and current customers.
Do You Need a Signature Design Style?
Your brand is all-encompassing and involves a lot of moving parts. A signature design style is just one part of that brand, but the benefits are many:
It can be a primary selling point of your product or service.
Like Slack’s “secret sauce” for a $2.8B web app, a signature design style isn’t just about making you look good. It can be the reason why you’re in business in the first place.
It adds a major competitive factor.
A signature design style affects how people engage with your product or service. It can add to brand confidence. Design is the new competitive advantage, so yours should be unique!
It’s one of the first impressions customers have of you.
First impressions are 94% design related. Online, the only thing a visitor has for that first impression is your design! Make that first impression count.
It’s one of the lasting impressions customers have of you.
If customers are comparing goods and services, your signature style will help you stand out. A positive first impression often has lasting consequences. Be memorable!
With these significant benefits, having a signature design style is important for any organization. It not only enhances your brand profile, it can contribute directly to your bottom line.
Leveraging a Signature Design Style
How do you leverage your brand with a signature style? Work with a designer who has a signature design style and who understands how to use that signature style to solve your business problems through design. Choose someone who has an opinion and who is there there for you as a strategic partner, rather than an extension of your computer.
When considering potential design partners, ask yourself:
Does she have a portfolio? A great designer is invested enough in her own business to showcase her work. Isn't that the same thing you’re asking her to do for your business?
When he explains his past work, does he articulate how he solved the underlying business problems?
When she explains her past work, does she talk about how her design decisions are reflective of the client’s brand?
When you review his past work, are there stylistic patterns in the way he creates solutions? Are these patterns something that appeals to you and aligns with your own brand?
Does the designer have a range of aesthetic solutions for a variety of work? Is she able to apply a different look-and-feel depending on the project — then explain why?
Has the designer articulated his thought process through his own blog or other publications? Is he as passionate about his craft as you are about your business?
A great designer is an asset to your organization, regardless of industry. Don’t underestimate the power of a signature design style! It may be the the difference between being noticed and being ignored.