Can you really afford to look unprofessional? (Value of Design) — Atelier Pan

Can you really afford to look unprofessional? (Value of Design)

I'd like to explain the value of design by telling you a story first: 


Imagine that you’re shopping for a new chair. You go to the store and you’re looking around —not really sure what you’re looking for exactly. You do know that you need a new chair for the living room —one that’ll look good in your apartment, is comfortable and lasts a long time. So, you’re looking around and what draws your eye? There are literally hundreds of chairs here. Where does your attention go? Usually it’s something that attracts you. Something that stands out. 

Atelier Pan Value of design: Can you really afford to look unprofessional?

After a while you see this amazing chair in the distance. Out of all the chairs in the store, you decide to take a closer look at this one.

So, you walk over to inspect it. When you getting closer to the chair you’re able to see the finer details. From up close the chair also looks amazing. Compared to this one, the other chairs just look unattractive. They look cheap, sloppy and crooked. This one is perfectly finished and it feels like it’s been well put together. Overall —the details are just right. What a find!

After this the other chairs aren’t even considered anymore.Of course the chair also needs to be functional. Let’s have a seat. You sit down and ease in to it. That feels great. It’s really comfortable. This chair really delivers what it advertises. Such a delight!

This chair is clearly made by a professional.


If you think about this in relation to your product or service, what do you think an unprofessional look is doing to your business?

Let's talk about branding and design:

Your brand is like a book cover…
…and people are going to judge you on it. —You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
So make sure it a great one!

Also something that I really like from this guy that I’ve been following for a while now —his name is Dale Partridge, and he talks about the importance of branding and design in a way that’s really easy to understand. E.g. you want people to know about your business, but if everything looks ‘ugly’…

“People don’t refer ugly.”

—Dale Partridge

People won’t talk about brands that are ugly —except maybe in a negative way.

E.g. if you look at Apple. Apple looks very professional. Every detail is right. They really thought about the design. People just can’t stop talking about it. They can’t wait to get their hands on the new stuff. They want it. They even pay more for it than other brands. And are willing to do that.

Atelier Pan | Value of design: Can you really afford it to keep looking unprofessional?

Apple has a clear message and has been able to support this message with incredible design. They offer a great experience and deliver on their promise.

As a result they’ve build a great (emotional) relationship with their customers —one that lasts.


If you think about your message, your offer… how to do package it? You know what you want to achieve. You want to make a difference in the world. And your product can do that. Buying from you helps make the world a better place.

Atelier Pan | Value of design: Can you really afford it to keep looking unprofessional?

So, you have a clear message. You have a great product and it’s a really cool offer, but have thought about how you’re going to ‘package’ it? I’m not just talking about the physical aspect of packaging. I mean:

  • How do you make it consumable?
  • How do you make it presentable?
  • How do you make it desirable?

If you want people to want your product, it needs to look the part.


Think about credibility. If a company and their product look professional, their credibility goes up.

If you look good it gives you a confidence boost. E.g. you have a new design suit on, new shining shoes or a new great-looking handbag and you go out in to town. It makes you feel more confident. Your ‘packaging’ just feels right and you feel more confident about yourself, your message and your product.

Good design helps you differentiate yourself —it helps you stand out in the crowd. E.g. if you’re working in a field that doesn’t appreciate design and you do, it’s immediately differentiates you from the rest.

Design also makes you more recognizable. Everybody knows Apple. It’s a very recognizable brand. Remember the first time Apple came with the white earphones for the iPod? Before that, earphones were black —always. So when you were wearing white earphones, people immediately knew that you had an iPod. Instant recognition!

Atelier Pan | Value of design: Can you really afford it to keep looking unprofessional?

Building relationships is easier with good design. Good design delivers your clients a clear message.

“Good design tells customers that if they care this much about the smallest details, then they must care about me.”

—Dale Partridge

Consider these 5 aspects when you decide to keep looking unprofessional:

  • Credibility
  • Confidence
  • Differentiation
  • Being recognized
  • Building relationships

People will think you’re less credible. They won’t recognize you in the crowd, because you don’t differentiate yourself. People will think: “Hmm, this looks sloppy… I’m not that sure about the quality of this product.”


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

—Dr. Ralph Speth, CEO Jaguar

Design is an investment. With amazing returns.

Think about that.

With pleasure,


Atelier Pan | Brand design for Conscious Entrepreneurs

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