Contrast: How To Show And Tell Your Value

January 28, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

Light and dark.
Good and bad.
Happy and sad.
Before and after.
With and without.
Beautiful and ugly.
Haves and havenots.

Contrast can be such a powerful tactic.

It’s simple.
It’s universally understood.
It clearly articulates to opposite scenarios.

For all of those reasons, contrast is an easy way to showcase your value.

Sometimes, despite every explanation and effort to explain what it is that you do and what clients stand to lose by choosing not to work with you, it can feel like there’s no progress being made.

So what do you do?

Most will consider bolstering there portfolio - adding more images and photos to make it clear. “Show, don’t tell,” they say. It’s difficult for clients to refute such a large pile of evidence staring right at them, right?


The missing piece here is transformation. That’s ultimately what architects are selling.

Architects are able to see images of finished projects and understand the nuances of the details or quickly register low quality vs high quality efforts. After all, this is how architects are trained.

But clients? Not so much.

They may see beautiful work. But they don’t often understand the difference between their current state and the desired state that they’re seeing in the images or hearing from you, the architect.

This is where contrast should step in. It’s straightforward, simple, and easy to digest. It’s a “Show and tell” solution that clearly articulates your value.

The goal of contrast is simple: exhibit a transformation from their current state to their desired state.

Here are two simple ways to do it:

01 // Show contrast

I’m not sure if a picture is worth a thousand words. But it might be worth a signed contract and a new client.

Make sure you document your projects and processes well. This will give you a healthy library of materials to produce before and after contrasts that show how your expertise can transform client land, building, and space.

Place before and after images next to one another to highlight the transformation.

Here’s how Runcible Studios does it:

Use more before and after comparisons in your case studies and portfolio to make transformations clear.

02 // Tell contrast

The best copy and messaging meets people right where they are and makes them more aware of their current problems (that you can solve).

This tactic is heavily used in the technology sector, but I couldn’t find an example of architecture firms using it. (All the more reason for you to maximize on the potential!)

List out the common problems, conditions, or situations of clients that come to you. Think about common answers you get while asking about pain points. Then list out ideal outcomes produced from choosing to work with you. Consider the common answers you get when identifying pain relief.

Here’s an example from Hotjar:

And here’s an example from the website redesign I managed for Monograph:

Place these telling contrasts in one or more areas throughout your website. Or even try it in a paid marketing campaign!


Contrast can be used to remind prospective clients about where they are and where they want to be.

Show contrast using before and after images of your projects.

Tell contrast by listing common challenges of your clients alongside common (ideal) outcomes of working with you.

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