Good graphic design can make the difference between a convert and confusion.

This morning, I saw the following text on an advertising poster in a parking lot in Glendale, CA:


The graphic designer chose to use the darker of two similar colors on the letters that spell out “NOTHING IS POSSIBLE”.

This is probably the exact opposite of what the client wanted to communicate given that the event being advertised is a motivational seminar / religious revival.*

What the graphic designer most likely meant to say was:


A simple inversion of color can make the difference between a statement of uplift and one of utter pessimism.

Graphic design matters far more than many business and organizational leaders realize.

It’s possible we have never lived in an age when graphic design was so ubiquitous and thus so important, whether outdoors in billboards or indoors on product packaging, from catalogs and magazines to the increasingly mobile web.

Within the next five years our society will experiment with augmented reality technologies whereby electronic signs are laid over the “natural” environment.

Argon, the augmented reality web browser, available now on iPhone

If design matters now in terms of the choices we make, it will surely make even more of a difference in the near future.

And yet I don’t know the last time I saw an ad by the AIGA or a similar trade group reminding executives just how much design matters.

*Unless, perhaps, the seminar organizers are postmodern theologians who wish to remind us that nothingness is the underpinning of everything. True that.