Do You Have Ugly Stuff?

We’ve all seen them: unappealing logos, lame business cards printed out on the home printer, and remedial PowerPoint presentations. PR consultants often focus so much energy on our content, too often we suffer from “ugly stuff” syndrome.

But design plays an important role in establishing credibility — especially important for independents. You’ve heard the expression “perception is reality?” This is actually backed up by research, with one study confirming that people expect visually appealing Web sites to contain better information than Web sites that are less appealing.

Many designers say that you shouldn’t assume you can’t afford professional services. They suggest giving a designer a call and say “I’d like to beautify this proposal, but all I have is [$150] to spend – what can you do for that?”

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Atlanta-based Rand Cabus, of Privateer Design, on first impressions, templates, and the need for PR consultants to banish ugly stuff:

What have you done to make sure you don’t have ugly stuff? Any suggestions for improving your image on a budget?