Good Design Is Timeless

A good example of an investment in design excellence that has paid off over the years is the iconic logo for Kapalua, the resort on Maui. It represented the metamorphosis of Maui Land and Pineapple Company’s agricultural enterprise into a new resort development venture. The most amazing thing about it is that it looks like it was designed yesterday.  But, it is over 30 years old.

This a very good example of how design fundamentals, exacting process, client rapport and intrinsic talent can create something special, and by all accounts…timeless.

Looking at this bug (literally) brings back a lot of personal memories for me.  I was on the design team at Bruce Hopper Design back in the early 70’s when this was originally conceived. I remember the impassioned arguments over letter spacing, wing shapes and color options. Try matching a specific vintage of Cabernet to a PMS color spec…it’s not easy.  Mostly I remember the professionalism of that shop and its creative driver, Bruce Hopper.  I consider that time in my life to be my apprenticeship and where I formed by core values on design that I have applied to every project since then.

When Web graphics first started they were the realm of code writers and developers; and had a very pedestrian look.  Graphics were along for the ride and corny animated giff’s were the pinnacle of “wow” factor.  Now, design is a driving force and the Website can be a truly visual and auditory experience.  The basic skills of well-trained professional designers, who were always in the visual communication business, are once again a critical component for connecting with your market on the Internet.  Here’s some of what a graphic design foundation brings to Web development:


Most site visitors can decide within a few seconds if your company is professional, knowledgeable and competent by how it looks.  This has been the selling point of corporate identity for a hundred years and it applies to the Internet just as in any other visual presentation.

Colors Set the Mood

Designers know how colors and more precisely color-combinations affect the subconscious.  In Hawaii, they also know how color choices affect your target market and cultural demographics. Let the professionals pick your theme.

It’s Called a GRAPHIC User Interface for a Reason

Getting people to understand how to interact with a computer screen is a science.  But, it is an old science that graphic designers have been wrestling with for years.  The visual and non-verbal cues that tell people what they should do, and how they should navigate are not new to Internet development, but simply a modern application of international symbols, sign systems and non-verbal instructions that graphics professionals have been solving for years.

Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

And, although your Web crawler and search engines like words, people like images.  A beautiful photograph or a compelling infographic can hold the attention of the human brain faster and longer that all but the most profound words.

Make sure your Web designer has a thorough background in graphic design theory and target marketing, or he may have no idea what he is trying to accomplish for you.



Filed under Brand Management, Internet Marketing

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