What’s the impact of graphic design on business?


73% of companies invest in design to help their brand stand out from competitors

Studies have found that 94% of people’s first impression of your business relates to your website design

75% of website credibility has been assessed to be a result of its design

If you are not investing in the visual presentation of your business then you are will be losing business and are risking your long-term future. 

Graphic design has become an essential business tool. It can deliver a drastic and profound impact on businesses, across all industries, across the entire world. 

Uniquely designed graphic elements showcase who a business truly is, what they stand for, what they represent, what they sell, and even their value proposition. Well-positioned and targeted design will also help your customer funnel – attracting the right target audience whilst subtly weeding out the inappropriate parties. Meaning you can focus your time and energy on your best prospects.  

Graphic design plays a key role in business success. Presented as a consistent styling and message across every aspect of a firms visual communication. Brand, business cards, banners, posters, brochures, websites, packaging, and advertising – anything that represents your firm and carries your name should be carefully designed. Without graphic design, businesses could not reach their customers. Developing a unique brand identity to stand out within the multitude of competitors is essential. We all need good design to command attention in the public eye, without a successful graphic design strategy a business will not last very long in their industry.

The effect of graphic design in different industries

Regardless of your particular industry; good design is paramount to standing out and helping your potential consumers learn more about you at a glance. It is proven to impact how and even if they decide to shop with your brand. The graphic design impact on all industries is only continuing to grow and develop as graphic design continually evolves.

So let’s explore some specific industries and how graphic design has delivered results for them. 


The ever-growing, online nature of our interactions means that graphic design plays a primary role. Every app created features graphic design. Likewise for every website, blog site and instagram feed. The more effective the design the more eyeballs you attract. Every explanation, launch event or “how to” technology showcase relies on design elements to help people better understand the use of that technology. Add in user journeys, user interface and user-experience design and the impact of good design on the uptake of new technology is immense. Without graphic design, technology would be a much more confusing and uninviting place. 


We think of fashion design as a pinnacle of creative expression but consider how fashion designers would reach their audiences if they didn’t have graphic designers? In the fashion world, the importance of creating an identifiable brand image is the key impact a graphic designer could have. But without proper labelling and promotion, the world might never discover the fashion designers unique product within an industry filled with millions of similar offerings.


Advertising can be a dirty word for some people. But all business needs to present its offer to the people who it would benefit. And advertising is simply the presentation of that core message to that key target audience. Advertising is everywhere. You can’t shop online, read a magazine, walk into a store, or drive down a busy street, without seeing billboards, posters, pop-up ads and the like. All of these messages and visuals are created by the graphic designer to engage the correct target audience and to motivate them to take action. Be that place an order, call for info, or donate to a specific disaster relief fund. 


Image visiting a shopping site or app and only finding a page of text. How would you react? The eCommerce industry is built on graphic design, it is an inherent part of our modern online experience and underpins the entire industry. 

Travel and Hospitality

Who would book a hotel or travel destination without seeing pictures and reading up a little? Graphic designers spend a lot of time highlighting key information and showcasing beautiful settings to excited people about the destination.

World leading Brands

The most effective brands build an emotional connection with their audience. And it’s mainly rooted in experience. 

What was your first car? Did you love it? If it delivered freedom and adventure (and wasn’t a complete wreck that broke down regularly) then the chances are you have fond memories of that car and probability suggests that that fondness will extent to the manufacturer too. But if it left you stranded by the side of the road regularly then the opposite is probably true.

If you react negatively to a certain brand that you have little personal history with, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad branding. It’s more likely that you don’t fit the target audience profile and so the messaging and approach is not designed to engage you.

We all recognise the big name brands at a glance and have some sort of reaction to those brands. People become familiar and nostalgic about brands that they have history with – and this is not by accident. 

Consider why brands spend millions of dollars creating identities that allow them to stand out from the competition. 

The impact of graphic design on business is shown here in these three examples of world-leading brands with exceptional brand identities:

McDonald’s: McDonald’s began in 1937, but it was then called “The Airdome.” Renamed McDonald’s in 1940, when they first started using the Golden Arches design, but the Golden Arches were only used in the architecture of the building, not as the actual logo. The first McDonald’s logo was launched in 1948 and featured a Speedee Service Logo, still not the iconic “M” that everyone recognizes today. Bought out in 1961, the new owners first incorporated a version of the Golden Arches design into the logo but it was in 1968 that the Golden “M” logo that everyone recognises today was created. It wasn’t until 2003 that McDonald’s adopted the “I’m lovin it” strapline in a change of advertising campaign. Brands are not static. They should always be taking stock and evaluating. In recent years the Ronald McDonald clown figure has been conspicuous by his absence which denotes a shift in the brand positioning (but that is another post for another day). Today, McDonald’s is in over 100 countries and serves 69 million people every day.

Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola was founded in 1892 and has grown to now be the most recognised global brand, featured in over 200 countries across the globe. The Coca-Cola logo has remained fairly consistent over the years but it has been regularly, revised and redrawn (ever-so-slightly). It was a design written in black until 1947 when what’s known as the red button logo was released. 1958 saw the first use of the “Fishtail” design. In 1969 the logo revision known as the “white wave” appeared, and in 1982 the Diet Coke logo was released. The brand logo also saw revisions in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2013. But the core brand has always remained relatively consistent and recognisable. Coca-Cola understood the power of design and branding early but it wasn’t until 1916 that the famous Contour Bottle was released. Designed to stop copy-cat brands the creative idea for the bottle was to create a uniqueness that instantly identified coke. The creative brief stated that the design should still be recognisable and identifiable even if the bottle was broken. That brief birthed a design icon. Coca-Cola now has a market cap of over $50 billion and is valued at over $120 billion when the brand value is included. 

Apple: The first Apple logo was made in 1976 and featured an illustration of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. In 1977, Steve Jobs hired graphic designer Rob Janoff to design a logo and the very first version of the ubiquitous Apple logo was born. A rainbow-coloured apple with the bite taken out of the side. The rainbow was a key element then as Apple was the first to introduce a colour monitor. In 1997 the Apple “Think Different” campaign was released featuring the same rainbow logo, but it wasn’t until 1998 that the first iMac was released, and they changed the logo to a translucent and monochrome look. By this time every computer had a colour monitor so it was no longer a key message for the brand. Apple sells products in over 175 countries across the world as has become the worlds leading technology brand.

World-leading brands are by definition the best of the best. They are examples that everyone knows and understand. What they have in common is a commitment to using design at the heart of their businesses.

They were not world-beaters when they invested in graphic design. What they teach us all is that a brand is never finished. Like a good website, a brand should always be refining and adapting. 

What graphic design and the principles a good designer will bring to your image, promotion and communications is an investment. And it’s an investment that will pay for itself over and over again.


If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.

– Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover 

3 replies
  1. Firm Roots
    Firm Roots says:

    Graphic designing services can add tremendous value to any brand or business by creating visually appealing designs that effectively communicate their message to the target audience.


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