It’s the little things that count…
The snowflake in the photo above was a perfectly formed little thing that just happened to land on my glove (whilst I was sipping gluhwein at the top of an Alp last week) and I snapped it on my iPhone, which offered a surprisingly good zoom function! Everyone I’ve shown this to has given the same response, along the lines of ‘wow – so tiny, but look at the detail on it!’
We all appreciate small details, whether we know it or not. As Creatives, we live and die by them.
Naturally, we like to think of ourselves as perfectionists, and our default approach is to tweak and polish until our product is ‘just so.’ Whilst many of our clients take a similar view, we’re also aware that often we’re doing this more for our own satisfaction…but that doesn’t mean that little changes don’t make a big difference.
Sometimes, this difference becomes immediately apparent. Recently, we were asked to take over an AdWords campaign for a client; an audio-visual business, who were frustrated that they seemed to be spending a lot of money but attracting the wrong sort of enquiries. We spotted lots of anomalies in the campaign and restructured it, but the change that had the biggest effect was adding the single word ‘Corporate’ to their ad, which now read ‘Professional AV Services for your Corporate Event'. Instantly, their spend with Google was halved, as they were no longer paying for clickthroughs from people looking for a lower grade of service than they were offering. What’s more, the quality of the enquiries they received improved dramatically; they were no longer fielding calls from people wanting to organise a disco in their garage.
Other times, the difference is subtle – but no less important. When we’re designing a logo, for example, we’ll never choose an existing font and just leave it. Instead, we’ll take a little extra time to customise it, whether that’s with kerning or adjusting individual character shapes and styles. Likewise with colours, experimenting with different shades and tones. We don’t necessarily expect anyone other than fellow designers to appreciate the details, but the result is a genuinely original appearance which makes all the difference when it comes to standing out from the crowd. You know when something feels ‘right’, even if you don’t know why it does. When it comes to brand recognition and response, a subliminal difference can be the difference between success and failure.
All those little things add up: a spelling mistake; a badly cropped image; poorly contrasting colours; ‘widows’ in text; items out of alignment with the grid – the list goes on. Get them ALL right, and your communication is sending out the correct, professional message. Skip over them, and you’ll inevitably look just a little bit shabby.