The secrets designers don’t want you to know

You’re gazing into your floor-length looking kind of glum, thinking you should be featured on the next season of Snog, Marry, Avoid.

What can you do to fix the way you feel?

A personal trainer will tell you to hit the gym. A hairstylist will insist on a cut and blow. A nutritionist will set you on the Paleo path.

So what will happen if you ask a graphic designer how to improve your business? Yep. They’ll tell you a design refresh is all you need.

Of course they will – it’s in their interest. But before you loosen those purse strings I want to let you in on a secret – six secrets, in fact. All the things those high-flying designer-types don’t want you to know.



People say you get what you pay for. Sometimes that’s true. Dropping £50 on a pair of GAP skinnies will make me look way better than spending a fiver down the local market. But you don’t need to spend your life savings to get great design.

A lot of designers charge the big bucks in exchange for a good looking set of graphics, but without paying too much attention to your business as a whole.

Great design isn’t about the visuals, it’s about what those visuals can do for you.

Design is a way of communicating who you are and what you stand for, without saying a word. Figuring out how to bring this into your business is a worthwhile investment, whether you’re investing the time to learn, or the money for an expert.



Design is a single piece of the puzzle. If your offerings aren’t hitting the spot, your strategy has holes in it, or your copy falls flat… well, a redesign isn’t going to help you much.

What you need is clarity. Before you get swept up in the beauty of a redesign you need to know exactly what your core business value is. You need to know who your target audience is. You need to figure out which aspect of your business isn’t quite resonating.

Rather than looking to a designer, speak to a “big picture” specialist. You may end up saving yourself thousands in design fees.


Not all designers are created equal – most simply don’t have a clue.

They could be the best at creating graphics that reflect your brand identity… but what if you haven’t supplied them with that tidbit? They’ll be pissing in the dark.

They’ll have to make assumptions. Assumptions about who you are and who your perfect customers are. Assumptions about what your business stands for, what your goals are, and how you want to be remembered.

And they’ll probably just ply you with a pile of trendy shit. It would be like me heading out for a night on the tiles in a paisley crop top co-ord. Fashionable but SO WRONG.

Work on really nailing your branding before you even look at a designer. Otherwise you’ll spend a whole lotta cash attracting the wrong people.


You may want to be sitting down for this.

Impactful design isn’t “pretty”. It isn’t based on what looks nice, it’s based on consumer psychology.

Your designer should have a through-and-through understanding of how design affects purchasing, how visuals trigger emotion and how colour impacts sales.

A truly great designer knows that the goal here is to inspire your audience to take action.


I won’t deny it – we all want our brands to stand out, but that doesn’t mean you need to obsess about being “different”.

It means you should be YOU. Incorporating your unique set of skills, experience and personality is all the “different” you need.

Stop making a point of sharing HOW different you are all the time – it’s exhausting for both you and your audience.

Screw Different. Be More You.


Hang on – a designer telling you not to hire a designer?

Yep, that’s what’s happening right now.

With the time to do a chunk of Googling and access to free tools like Canva or Adobe Spark, you don’t need a designer.

Yes, a designer might save you time, and effort, and lots of frustration along the way, but you can *totally* go the DIY route.

If you think DIYing it might be the path for you, I’m working on something that might just help – pop your name here to find out more.



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