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The CEO’s Guide to Graphic Design 

As a business owner, I’m grateful for my background as a practitioner.

Most of our employees are creatives, and I find it really valuable to put on my designer hat and get my hands dirty, reviewing work or sitting with the team to brainstorm creative solutions to complex briefs. (Of course, I always learn a lot more from them than they learn from me!)

But I will admit, there are times when I wish I wasn’t a designer. And those times are when I have to explain design principles to our clients. 

I don’t mean to the in-house creatives or the marketing team. Pixel Village is lucky to have great clients with whom we can build productive synergies and have super productive conversations about design and strategy.

But when it comes to C-suite execs, well … I mean, these are invariably smart, well-informed, strategically savvy, insightful business leaders with brilliant business ideas and … not the first clue about the fundamental elements of design. 

It’s not that they lack taste or aesthetic sensibilities, it’s just that design is a specialist discipline with its own best practices, and it’s not something you can fully appreciate if you haven’t been immersed in the visual language and practice of design.

Design as strategy


Fortunately, I’ve come up with a move that almost always works. If I’m sitting in the boardroom and the CFO asks why the lettering looks like this and not like that, I don’t start a lecture about the history of typefaces and the minutiae of kerning.

Instead, I tell everyone to think about UX.

Here’s why.

We recently posted a piece on the Pixel Village blog that looks at why UX design is such a powerful means of improving business performance. 

I recommend reading the whole thing, but the key point can be summarised with the following extract:

“UX is not just pretty pictures or fast-loading pages. And it’s way more than clever menus and CTA buttons. Ultimately, UX design is a strategic discipline that encompasses a number of tools and practices to realise a set of digital goals.   

“More specifically, a talented UX designer is going to think very hard about what the user experience for a given website, app or other digital interface should be and, just as importantly, what that experience is supposed to achieve.”

In short, UX is a strategic discipline that leverages the best design practices, amongst other tools, to achieve clearly defined business goals.

And strategy is something every executive really is an expert in.

So if you’re a CEO and the last thing you want is a discourse on minimalism and the most effective use of white space, give us a call. We’ll work out a concrete plan for getting you much better results from your business’s online presence. It will look great too, but you’ll have to take our word for that.

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