Our thinking Quick reads Subjectivity and the importance of not giving a f#%@
Fundraising, investor relations and marketing
August 2019
3 min read

Subjectivity and the importance of not giving a f#%@

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From the colors below, which color would you choose to be a part of your company’s branding?

You work in finance. If I was to ask you what your favorite color would be from the palette above, 90% of the people asked would say “blue” even though, way deep down, they may like the burgundy, the teal, or the orange.  What’s my point? The vast majority of people in finance associate the color blue with safety. Of course, it’s mellow and calming, but it’s also the most common color used throughout the alternative investment industry.

I get it, it’s scary to want to choose your heart’s desire when it seems like the wrong answer compared to everyone else, but how can you stand out from a giant [blue] sea of sameness?

Subjectivity is so interesting because there are no right or wrong answers. Our personal choices greatly span from our upbringings, our culture, our memories.

The same is true for design. I hear all too often, “I want my website to look just like these guys” or “I want to be like Apple”. First, I always ask the question of “why”, then I say we can incorporate aspects of those things, but I urge people to feel a little uncomfortable by taking a chance in looking uncommon. Design is abundant! Harness different aspects and create something that is all your own.

No offense but most people in this industry have terrible taste. It’s my job to help lead people forward, not backward in regards to design. This often means saying  “no” to a client’s creative suggestions.  The reason you hire a creative agency is to have them worry about how you look, while you worry about managing money.  In the end, the most important thing is that your branding should be a reflection of your company’s identity, values and culture. Stand out from the herd, and utilize products you’re proud about, excited about, and strike a personal chord. Take peer comments with a grain of salt – there is subjectivity and sometimes they are rooted in playing it safe. The point of design is to be unique, and being unique is one of the best ways to get noticed out of that sea of sameness.

Subjectivity is obviously the muse of my writings, but I’d also like to note that it takes discomfort and courage to stand behind rare design choices within the financial realm. So, the real question is, do you have the courage to be something different?

“Really awesome things happen when we look beyond our immediate peers, competitors, and industry for sources of [illustration] inspiration.”


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