When it comes to designing websites and other marketing materials, great presentation can really improve your company’s reputation, and its sales.
One of my favorite examples is Letterhead Fonts. These people create some of the most beautiful typefaces you’ll find anywhere. Lots of vintage-style signage faces especially, from Victorian-era through the 1950s, from hand-cut “wood” faces to hand-brushed sign painter fonts. They’re delicious.
But the thing that really sells these fonts is the design of the website, and the drool-worthy design of the samples they create.
Take a look at the front page of their site. Right way, you’re transported to a rich and unique world — one that could only belong to this company. Click on some of the sample images as you scroll down that gorgeous page, and gaze upon the energetic or conservative or intricate sample designs. The colors and textures and motifs are appropriate to the style of the typeface — right down to a gold-leaf signage effect for some of the vintage styles.
All of the samples show the typeface for what it can be — not just what the face itself looks like. For designers, that’s “aspirational imagery” — something to shoot for. And, as is true for everyone, beautiful design — like a photo of a beautiful human being — gets our endorphins simmering.
This particular site’s style might not appeal to you, but I can guarantee that most designers find it compelling.
That’s what you want to do with your website, no matter what your product or service. You want your visitors to have an emotional reaction, whether it’s one of excitement or comfort or comradery or radicalism or safety or assurance. Because even if you have the greatest product or service in the world, your sales will suffer if you don’t connect with your audience on an emotional level.
Even without a pulling hard-sell, the site has managed to get me to but a couple of typefaces that I rarely use. Don’t get me wrong — the fonts were worth the price, because they were perfect for the application. But it’s possible that I might have used something else or rolled my own custom solution if I hadn’t seen the fonts presented in the mouth-watering context the folks at Letterhead Fonts build.
While the websites I design might not have that same style (and a site of that intricacy is affordable to LHF partly because their products sell so well, and partly because one of the font designers does the web design), I always try to give each website a unique feel, and a richness of design that provides a sensory experience for the visitor that’s satisfying, soothing, challenging — all depending on the client’s audience. Even if the product or service might generally be considered a bore by some, and even if the site is low-budget or minimalist, there’s always a way to design a website that connects with your visitors — without being cheesy or insulting.
Make your website work for you. Be sure it’s not only reliable and functional and easy to navigate, but that it also invokes an emotional reaction in your visitors — even if it’s a mild one.
If you do, your sales just might turn drool-worthy, too.