As students of design, it's easy for all of us to get so wrapped up in our own work, in grades and teachers and deadlines and class and work that we forget design is first and foremost a vehicle for direct communication. It's not just homework; someday it might be real work. It's not making something look pretty or sell better; well it is, but there's more to it than that. A glance at a piece of design is a scratch on the surface of something altogether bigger, and whether or not the designer is skilled enough to properly execute that or the viewer is smart enough to understand that, there are lines of communication being drawn behind what the eye can readily see and/or what the mind can readily comprehend.
Status is driven by branding, something we've all come to realize is a lot more complicated than a photograph and some text. As stated by Marty Neumeier, '"Because it works" will no longer suffice as a design rationale.' Branding is a complex system, the result of a strategy to deliver the kind of message that is not only seen and read but also felt and remembered. Good status is good branding, good branding is smart strategy and successful execution, and good business is dependent all of these things. So what does status have to do with the financial agenda? In short, everything.
Here's a quick and current example. The Huffington Post is one of many news sources that have been covering a move to rename high fructose corn syrup 'corn sugar.' According to the article 'Goodbye High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hello Corn Sugar (Signed, Corn Industry),' corn syrup consumption has fallen to a 20 year low - mainly due to a largely unproven assumption in Americans that corn syrup is unhealthy and more likely to lead to obesity than sugar. Given their financial woes, a new strategy was developed by the corn industry to renew corn syrup's status in the public eye. Advertising campaigns have already begun as corn syrup begins its rebirth - in this case, it's less about gaining a positive status than it is about shedding a negative one. Regardless, the effect on business has been undeniable.
1. Fredrix, Emily. "Goodbye High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hello Corn Sugar (Signed, Corn Industry)." The Huffington Post. 09/14/10.
2. Neumeier, Marty. "Survival of the Fittingest." AIGA. 04/07/10.