What you see is what you get

In business, we live in a visual world (like it or not)

How much do you value the visual elements of your business or brand? Now, think about how much you judge other businesses by their ‘cover’.

The fast-paced world we now live in is highly competitive and highly visual. If you’re like most people, you will pay attention to your first, ‘visual’ impressions, fair or unfair. This might be the way a person dresses, their hairstyle, their body language and eye contact… or their website, office space, display books or marketing material.

I recently was shown a product designed as a gift people can buy, to raise money for a very worthy cause. My immediate impression was that the design let it down – it was dated, boring and a little daggy. I’m not suggesting people don’t buy fundraising products just for the value their money will bring to a charity, but I am saying that many, many more products might be sold if more attention was given to their visual appeal.

Looking ‘right’ in business becomes very important when it comes to using photographs of people or products. If the website or brochure design is fantastic but the photos clearly have come from an everyday camera or an unpractised hand, the value is immediately brought down. As mentioned in a previous article, Lighting is Everything, well… I’ve just said it. A professional with specialised equipment makes the shot work.


Designers and boutiques particularly need to pay close attention to the type of photographs they use. There are many examples of catwalk shots pinched from other websites and used by small businesses, or shots of wrinkled clothing snapped with a regular camera by someone who works there. The designers who make it to fashion festivals use professional models and fashion photographers to showcase their beautiful creations.

How much dollar value do you place on your look? How much more value could it be bringing in dollars, back to you?

Marketing experts, website designers and programmers, artists and photographers alike, are always trying to show people the importance of investing in a professional job. Some businesses get it, and it shows.

It’s not always easy to find the time and money to do it right, and I am personally doing it step by step. But having an awareness of how to do things right is a good start.