Design directly impacts the bottom line of the business, which directly connects to its ability to serve the community long-term. A business is rooted in its brand design, and each of the other design mediums speaks to each other – from the digital voice on social media, to the colors on the wall to the size of the table and the tabs on the website – to all directly to serve the customer. Which is why TechTown was proud to collaborate with Design Core Detroit and its network of design professionals on creating the Design Guide for Neighborhood Business to help brick-and-mortar businesses, from pop-up to permanent, think about design for their business in an intentional way.
This guide was created to help small businesses learn the different stages of the design process and the value of working with design professionals to help bring a business vision to life in the most quality and economical way possible. Using this handbook will help save business owners two precious commodities: time and money. The more prep work is done at the beginning, the better. That is why the guide is filled with interactive exercises courtesy of multiple local design firms and support organizations.
The brand strategy and personification activities by Unsold Studio are terrific to complete prior to meeting with a designer. Do you need a new or refreshed website? Design Source Media created a worksheet to help identify goals for the project. Additionally, the team at Patrick Thompson Design contributed a sample programming process to help owners identify what needs to be done (products and services) in the space and who will be interacting with it (staff and customers). Finally, TechTown produced the 360 Walk-Thru tool to help businesses analyze what a full-sensory experience looks, sounds and feels like in a physical location. Throughout the book designed by Who’s That?, users will also see highlights of both digital and physical design for local businesses from various areas of the city.
The guide is not precious. It is not a textbook. Draw and doodle to your heart’s content. It is meant to be used by both businesses just starting out and those who have decades of operating experience. For fitness studios and coffee shops to clothing boutiques and full-service restaurants, whether your location is 300 or 3,000 square feet, design matters. Dig into the book to see full case studies of local brick-and-mortar businesses from all over the city that showcase examples of collaborations between the business owner(s) and design professionals. Use this tool as a resource to help guide you through the decision-making process as you implement design in all aspects of your business.
Is your location already open? Commerce Design: Detroit is back for #DetroitMonthOfDesign 2019! In partnership with AIA Detroit, this competition aims to raise awareness of the positive impact that design can have on local businesses and the communities in which they reside. If you are a designer or a local business whose project operates in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park, consider submitting your work this year! Learn more and apply here.