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Americans are visual people, easily distracted and driven by whatever catches their eye. While this is not news to anyone who has lived in the United States for any length of time, a new report underscores the importance of professional design, such as professional logo design, in branding a business.

The report, which was conducted and published by a well-known search engine and website Yahoo, found that regardless of medium, good design is essential to business success. Consumers are more likely to look at interesting designs. Exactly what constitutes ‘interesting’ varies from group to group, but brighter colors and unique logos are universally more eye catching than their duller alternatives. Further, customers will look longer at an image if it is well designed and balanced according to basic aesthetic rules. The longer they look at an image, the more likely they are to recognize it later. This recognition can take a brand from obscurity to prominence in just a short time.

The effects of good design are most pronounced when it comes to websites. The study found that customers will stay longer at websites that they find visually pleasing and quickly leave those that are unprofessional or unattractive. The longer time spent at your website often leads to increased sales, and to less time spent surfing the websites of your competitors.  It is important that logo designers and web designers keep their target market in mind when creating any kind of design because different groups have different aesthetic preferences.

However, this effect is not limited to websites. Brochures and advertisements also will be ignored by customers if they lack that professional edge. Customers are bombarded with professional advertisements every time they pick up a magazine, turn on the television, or even drive down the freeway. An amateur design job looks conspicuously shoddy in this context and will likely be ignored or even create a negative image for the company using it.

For these reasons, many small business owners are getting professional designs for their companies. While professional logos, professional annual report designs, and websites were once used almost exclusively by large companies, they are essential even for the smallest, single proprietor operations. Our era is driven by professional design and brand recognition, and this will likely become even more important in years to come.

What does this mean for your brand and your business? If you want for customers to choose you over the alternatives, you need professional design services for your website, logo, and stationery, as well as any other media that your customers view.  You need for every part of your business to have that magic touch that only a professional designer can offer. This will not just lead to customers looking longer, but to more brand recognition and higher sales rates.

The moral of this story? If you are lacking the type of brand appeal that you need to make it in our competitive world, talk to a professional designer as soon as possible. There’s a reason corporate giants like Yahoo are doing research on branding and logo design: it’s the only way to get on top and stay there.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.