Measuring the Impact of Professional Graphic Design

The benefits of strong, professional graphic design for your brand are substantial, including the ability to establish industry authority, promote brand identity, and make a solid first impression. And while these benefits are undoubtedly appealing, they can also seem quite vague.

So the question becomes: how do we actually measure the impacts of professional design?

The answer is not as straightforward as other marketing KPIs, such as lead traffic and conversions, which are quantitative metrics. To measure the impacts of professional graphic design we’ll need to consider both quantitative and qualitative measurements.

Quantitative Design Measurements

When most people think of data, they first consider the numbers they can gauge from a project. For design, your measurements can be largely sourced from two areas: digital versus hard copy.

Measuring Digital Design Success
For digital design projects, such as email marketing or a website, you can track before/after conversions and engagement. You can even implement A/B tests to compare very specific design details, and most email platform providers and website hosts have plug-in tools for A/B testing ease.

Optimizely defines A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) as “an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.” This gives you the actual measurements of a new design’s performance.

For design purposes, you can test:

Layouts: Test your landing page, website page, and email layouts. Does one column work better than two? Does form placement or image placement make a difference on conversions?

Calls-to-Action: Do your CTAs generate more responses in red or blue? What about the color of the text or the shape? Does the placement of your CTAs have a significant impact?

Images: Does the size of the images matter? What about the actual images themselves? Do photos provide more impact than illustrations?

The list goes on and you can prioritize what is most important to you and tailor the list to your design priorities.

Measuring Hard Copy Design Success
When looking to gauge the impact of a newly designed sales collateral or even a tradeshow display, you can measure success by using a tool called attribution reporting. The idea is that multiple brand interactions lead to every purchase, and marketers can actually weigh the value of each interaction to gain a clearer picture of Marketing ROI.

There are many forms of attribution reporting, including:
First-touch attribution: In this model, the first point of contact with your brand gets the credit for the conversion. So for instance, if a flyer was the first touchpoint, you would calculate ROI with your flyer spend.

Last-touch attribution: This is similar to first-touch attribution, but instead of pointing to the first interaction with your brand, you point to the final one.

Multi-source attribution: In this scenario, you split the attribution between all the channels, including all social posts, every email, every brochure, etc.

Weighted multi-source attribution: Like multi-source attribution, you split the attribution over all marketing channels. However, in this model you apply certain weights to each channel. For instance, your email marketing could be weighted the most heavily and your business cards could have the least amount of weight.

The key to successful attribution reporting is to document all contact interactions with all marketing interactions. Fortunately, there are several attribution reporting tools to help you with accurate documentation and attribution.

Qualititative Design Measurements

It is easy to get tied up in the numbers, yet putting time and money into professional design is an investment in the quality of your brand and visual aspects. And ultimately, it is the quality which enforces aspects such as design consistency and brand recognition, among other benefits.

Think about it. If you had all of your sales reps creating their own flyers and emails with different colors and messaging, what level (or lack thereof) of professionalism does that indicate? How does that make your brand memorable or recognizable in any way? Do these mis-matched pieces indicate your organization is finely-tuned and competent (probably not). This sentiment is the essence of why measuring the quality of design is so critical.

In order to gauge the quality of designs you can look internally and to customers.

Internal Design Success Measurements
Ask yourself and your coworkers the following questions:
● Did your design solve a problem?
● Is your design stronger than the previous one?
● Did you improve the user interaction with your design?
● Does the design align with your brand?
● Is it visually pleasing and easy-to-understand?

The ability to answer “yes” to any of these questions should be seen as adding value to your brand. If the answer is no, try to evaluate which changes need to be made to the design to make it stronger.

Use Customer Feedback to Measure Design Success
One of the primary reasons to improve your design is for your customers — so what better way to ensure you are helping them than to ask them?

User Experience Designer Kayode Osinusi said “customer satisfaction measures users’ overall fulfillment levels, and it can be tracked in various ways.” A few of the ways he mentions:

Surveys: The simplest way to know what your customers think is to directly ask them via a survey. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms will allow you to create free surveys and have access to all the data.

Net Promoter Score: This is a more general way of measuring customer satisfaction where you ask the customer on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your business.

Social Media Monitoring: Want to see what customers are saying about you to others? Sign up for Google Alerts about your company and use a tool such as HootSuite to measure social mentions. Also be sure to monitor your reviews on Google, Yelp, and social platforms and see how customers are ranking you.

If your customers appear unsatisfied, consult your team on other ways to improve customer experience with your brand and products.

When first starting to measure your design impacts and ROI, we recommend picking one method and slowly adding in the others. Regardless of the method you choose, we are excited for you to see the results of your design investments.

If you need help creating a strong, visual brand with great design ROI, Evoke Idea Group is ready to help. We are a full-service creative marketing agency helping brands across all industries tell strong stories through smart design. For more than two decades, we’ve helped some of the world’s most trusted brands captivate and convert customers through impactful print and digital projects. Our experience allows us to hit the ground running on any size project. Find out what we can do for you in a complimentary consultation. Schedule yours today by email at or give us a call at 630-639-8985.

About Evoke Idea Group, LLC

Evoke Idea Group, LLC is a full-service design and marketing creative agency providing award-winning marketing communications and graphic design solutions since 1996. For more than two decades, we’ve helped mid-to-large size B2B and B2C companies, marketing departments and breakout companies captivate and convert customers through print and digital campaigns. We serve a wide range of clients on a national, regional, and local basis.

We are in the business of bringing awareness to brands and helping to grow companies through strategic marketing, digital marketing, advertising, web design, video and graphic design services. Our fresh, creative approaches are translated through: graphic design, logo design, website design, advertisements, infographics, digital marketing, social media marketing, web banner ads, print materials, flyers, case studies, sell sheets, posters, brochures, branding and identity, brand guidelines, packaging, trade show booths, exhibit graphics, video and animated motion graphics.

Our full-service advertising agency provides freelance marketing communications and graphic design solutions throughout Arizona, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tucson, Peoria, Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Elgin, Schaumburg, DeKalb, Joliet, Chicago, Chicago Suburbs, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County, Pima County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, DeKalb County, Cook County, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, the Midwest, the Southwest, USA and worldwide.