You know they are out there – they’re everywhere.
The homemade brochures, the flyers that use Microsoft Word art, the business cards that were printed at home and cut by hand, and the websites that look like a school homework assignment.
And you know those people – the ones whose brother’s fiancé has a cousin that dabbles in graphic design as a hobby? It’s enough to make a professional designer cringe – to us, it’s like something out of a horror movie! Because the plain truth is that graphic design is not just a hobby – it’s a profession.
If you’re anything like me, when you receive one of those dodgy home jobs (clearly relying on a free online tool to develop their logo), you can’t help but ask the question – how professional is this company, and how can I know it delivers a quality service that is worth my hard-earned cash with an image like that?
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make a good one. In today’s fast-moving world, you don’t get a second chance – it only takes one bad experience to negatively impact on your company image. In a split second humans visually assess what is in front of us and form an instant opinion, so it absolutely vital that you invest in a professional graphic designer to make that opinion a positive one.
So, if you are still wondering about the benefits of hiring a professional graphic designer, here are six reasons as to why you need to ditch the free design programs and invest in your business reputation!
1. Professional graphic designers don’t just create pretty pictures
There is always a strategic path a designer takes to effectively convey your message visually to your audience. Before anything is created, a professional designer must first take the time to understand:
- The product or service you’re selling
- The culture of your business
- Your target market, and
- Your competition.
2. Graphic designers have studied design – it is a profession
OK – yes, it’s true that most creatives are colourful! But just because we may be quirky and different, using the other side of our brains, doesn’t mean we don’t know what we are doing! Professional graphic designers are taught about the thoughtful use of:
- Design theory and principles
- Grids and ratios
- Psychology and colour theory, and
- The skillful use of type to pull elements together that will reinforce a message and build brand loyalty.
A good designer will create a unique designer brief that is specifically-focused on your business.
3. A graphic designer can save you time
Have you ever had a pipe burst in your house and think “That’s an easy fix – I’ll save so much time and money if I do it myself!”
Why not, right? With your local Home Improvement Store down the road, it’s as easy as pie. The problem with this thinking is that you aren’t a plumber – you aren’t industry-trained, and you’re not qualified. You end up costing yourself a whole lot more than if you had invested in a professional in the first place – and as a business owner, what is your time worth?
An expert graphic designer manages time effectively as well as providing great outcomes. They know their stuff and are able to think very quickly by utilising their industry knowledge and experience – not to mention their amazing creativity!
4. A professional graphic designer knows the trends and can easily adapt
As design and styling trends change, a professional graphic designer will know what’s in and what’s out for the season and for your industry. Good graphic designers will want the very best for you and your business – after all, their reputation is on the line too! They will ensure that your all-important first impression is a positive one.
5. Graphic designers help you to realise your vision
It’s difficult to articulate the essence of your vision in words, let alone images!
However, professional graphic designers are trained to creatively take your vision and develop strong visual concepts that will reinforce your core message and communicate it clearly to your intended audience.
The growth of the digital world has seen online shops develop where you can purchase a quick ‘corporate ID’. While this may seem a cheap and easy option, it’s unfortunately not the wisest. Why? Just as you found that website and purchased that logo, so did somebody else! So while it seems like a good idea at the time, in the long-run you will feel the hurt.
These places are copyright-free – just like when you purchase an image from a stock library – so what’s stopping seven other businesses out there having the same (or very similar!) logo to yours? A professional designer will create something that is truly yours, that reflects your business personality and goals, and that has been created by having a firm understanding of your industry. Your logo development should be a process – researched and well thought-out – not purchased online for $9.99.
6. A designer can help maintain consistency
An experienced and professional graphic designer will know the ‘tricks of the trade’ on how to best-utilise design to market your brand, whether it is via logos, letterheads, brochures, web pages, signs, advertisements – the list goes on! They will also ensure that you apply your business brand consistently across all elements of your advertising and marketing – from online to print – to develop brand awareness.
So next time the cousin of your brother’s fiancé offers to whip you up a logo – think twice. If you don’t value yourself and your company enough to invest in hiring a professional graphic design studio, then how can you expect your potential clients to invest in you?