Design for start-ups

How design affects your business


Design can affect your business in many ways. It can help determine or improve:

  • the look and feel of your products and services
  • the packaging the products are in
  • the functionality of your office space
  • your branding and marketing collateral

What is the importance of design?

Using design is not just about making the things you create look good. It's about making them work efficiently to increase the profitability of your business.

For new businesses, it can be useful to understand how different aspects of design can help develop or enhance many aspects of your business.

The role of design in business

Working with designers in a range of design disciplines - such as graphic design, service design, workplace design and retail design - can bring many advantages to your business. For example, design can help you to:

  • attract and retain customers
  • streamline processes and operations
  • create better interactions and experiences for staff, customers and suppliers
  • develop new products and services and take them to market

Product designers can help you research and develop your ideas and concepts using computer-aided design. They can also test your concepts with customers and manufacturers using rough models before producing detailed prototypes that you can cost and evaluate. Find out more about concept development and testing.

Brand designers can help you create a consistent image across all aspects of your business. Your brand should make your products and services attractive and distinctive. Read about creating a brand strategy for business.

Graphic designers communicate ideas and information through visual methods, such as in your business' marketing and sales material, signage, logos, reports, websites and stationery. Graphic design is a key aspect of building a brand.

Service designers can help you plan and organise the people, infrastructure, communications and materials that make up the service you deliver.

Workplace design is an important consideration for any business employing staff because the space in which they work can have a direct impact on your staff's productivity and creativity. Also, if your workplace is regularly visited by your clients, it can affect how your company is perceived.

Ecodesign - or 'green design' - is a process where raw materials, manufacture, distribution and end use of products are all considered within the overall design. You can apply ecodesign to both existing and new products. See ecodesign in product and service development.

Packaging design is also very important when selling your product. Your packaging can help you protect your product in transit, storage or during distribution and it can also reduce your environmental impact. Find product packaging design: top tips or see how you can design packaging to reduce environmental impacts.