Effective design is crucial to the success of any product in any market. Poor design can mean the downfall of an otherwise good product, while outstanding design can make crummy products wildly successful. Recent news from the automotive industry serves as a potential case study for the use of good design making the difference between success and failure.

With the recent push for green energy initiatives in the auto industry, two sizable loans from the U.S. Department of Energy for nearly half of a billion dollars to two relatively unknown carmakers, Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive, has come under scrutiny. The concern is that such a large investment in companies that have little or no recognition is doomed to be a loss.

Would the two manufacturers have a better chance at becoming known if they employed design that communicated their brands as permanent and lasting? Design is all about creating a particular perception of a product, company, idea, etcetera, and making it look and feel good at the same time. If these companies had design encompassing every aspect of their business that conveyed the notion of longevity, and establishment, would people be less likely to think that they’re just a flash in the pan and a waste of taxpayer money?

Good products and great ideas have fallen by the wayside in the past and it’s an unfortunate fact of business. That goes to show that good design is more important than ever with new and unfamiliar products. A cleaner logo, more appealing packaging, a more communicative brand identity, or a strategic corporate image may be all that’s needed to turn skepticism and unfamiliarity into confidence and instant recognition.

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