Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams of In Good Company and authors of ‘The Big Enough Company’ are regular contributors on Forbes.com. Recently they asked me for some design advice that can also apply to entrepreneurship for a series exploring transferable business lessons. I provided them with the following nuggets:
You can’t go wrong with a classic.
Coco Chanel said it best: “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Few have gone wrong by sticking with style classics, be it a little black dress, Helvetica, a bold, red lip, or an Eames chair. While it’s important to stay on top of what’s current in our professional fields, it can be easy to get carried away with trends and technology. Don’t underestimate the power of the business classics–an elegant business card, top-notch customer service, and regularly saying ‘thank you’–and you’ll always look great!
Stand out… In a good way!
As a graphic designer specializing in branding and marketing materials, my job is to make my clients stand out from the crowd. Sometimes, however, there is a hair-thin line between standing out for excellence and sticking out like a sore thumb. So in design and in business, go ahead and make yourself stand out: be unique, be creative, and take some risks, but be sure to keep it tasteful!
Less is more.
There’s a reason you never hear the phrase “good, cluttered design.” Clean design is appealing because it manages to be creative while getting to the point. Many of us don’t put a lot of thought in to our business “style” per se, but when in doubt, one can never go wrong by keeping it clean… Be straight-forward: Say what you mean, do what you say.