A graphic designer is a professional who creates and assembles images, typography, and/or motion graphics with a view to improving the aesthetic appeal of your business. They can make your brand stand out in a crowded market, make it appear more professional, and open your product or services up to entirely new audiences.
Most businesses have a finite amount to invest in building the most professional and memorable brand. In some industries, the design of the product and its functionality can overshadow the business itself to the point where the brand suffers and actually creates an aged appearance versus their competitors. This is where graphic design can help to boost or preserve the integrity of the brand.
Many business owners fail to understand the positive impact that hiring a professional creative/graphic designer can have. Looking to cut costs they may well think that they can use stock images, graphs and charts from Microsoft Excel, and a free logo online creator and everything will work out the same.This is certainly not the case and this commonly held view is mostly down to a minimization of and lack of knowledge about what a professional designer actually does.
So what value do designers add?
For starters: design is not the ability to skillfully maneuver through a software program. Working in Photoshop, InDesign, or the like is NOT designing—creative/graphic design is a talent that the individual brings. Software is a tool. Owning a hammer does not make you a carpenter.
Graphic designers are often mistakenly thought of as artists and many business owners wonder what an artist could possibly add to their operations. But the purpose of a graphic designer is completely different to that of an artist. Where a fine artist creates work that is left up to the viewer to interpret, a graphic designer’s work should require no explanation.
Software is a tool. Owning a hammer does not make you a carpenter.
“Graphic designers are some of the best communicators in the world, and if people are interpreting their message in a way that is not intended, the graphic designer is not doing their job properly. A seasoned and talented designer cannot only solve problems creatively and with consistent messaging, a professional designer has the expertise to improve your returns on current marketing initiatives while preparing your business for the future,” states art director, Michelle Hogg.
How many times have you noticed that certain logos in an industry look similar in design and color?
When that occurs, someone is losing the opportunity to stand apart in their space by copying something that they like, instead of working through the process to find something original.
Does your logo or corporate color palette have colors that just never “look right”? This is a common issue that shows up when a designer is not involved to sort out the best selection for web, print, screen printing or embroidery. Knowing how to best select and manage color is part of a designer’s job.
“My best advice in this regard is that when a client or customer is choosing between two identical businesses and one has better branding or a more professional looking website, or more concise marketing materials (anything!) most of the time, they’re going to feel more comfortable going with the company that has a better look. This could be for a lot of reasons, it might make them feel better about working with that company because they look more professional or established, or it could be a subconscious decision. Either way, as a business, I’d want to do what I could to win that decision,” says designer Maureen Ballatori.
With decreasing attention spans in young audiences, marketing messages need to be delivered as quickly as possible and images are still the best way to do this. With small screen mobile technology becoming more prevalent than the larger screens of desktops and laptops, modern audiences aren’t as willing to invest time in reading your message.
Images are what the future of communication is about.
Michelle Hogg, Freelance Art Director, Rochester NY
Maureen Ballatori, Freelance Designer, 29designstudio.com