Does your job need a graphic designer?

Woman sitting at the computer doing design work

Note: This is a post from 2019, moved in the website redesign of August 2021.

Welcome to the blog. I’m going to be posting here every so often with tips, tricks, tutorials, and musings – so buckle in and get ready. My first post is a pretty basic one to start us off. We’ll be answering the following question:

Does your job need a graphic designer?

If this job requires creation or manipulation of visual elements, such as making a logo, setting out a book, or drafting an advertisement, then the answer is yes.

But there’s a catch – sometimes the designer is you.

If you design your own creations, then whether you’re a contractor or an IT expert, you have become a graphic designer for that job. This is much like when you are at home and discover the sink is clogged – if you work to fix a plumbing issue, you are performing plumbing work. You are doing a plumber’s job. But can you do it as well as a plumber could? And will your advertisement be as effective as if you’d hired a professional, qualified designer to do it?

Of course not!

Ask anyone in a service profession and they will tell you that it’s cheaper to do something well the first time instead of going back to fix costly mistakes. I recently worked with a dentist who wanted to promote his business, and he expressed frustration that dental work is offered at lower standards so that it can be cheaper, attracting more clients. He stressed that it can save thousands in the long term to just get your teeth fixed properly in the first place, and that’s the angle we ended up using for his advertising.

When you are running a business, it’s all about investment. Any costs which help to build your business, advertise it to potential clients and consolidate its identity are not truly costs, but investments. Nurturing your brand and spending time to identify and connect with clients will gain you more business, even if you had to spend a little more money at startup. It’s like buying a car and investing money to get it serviced every year, rather than ignoring the concerning noise and hoping it goes away (it probably won’t, and worst case scenario, it could explode…).

So then the second aspect comes into play. Sure, hiring specialists is important so that the job gets done right. But design isn’t that important. A logo is just a picture, and I just need people to know what I’m doing. It doesn’t need that much thought. Right?

Absolutely wrong.

Let me ask you this – if you walked into a job interview unshowered, wearing ripped jeans and a pair of dirty sandals, would you be hired? Why not? Appearance is crucially important in an appraisal of an object or situation, because it is the only information available at that time, and first impressions are lasting. It doesn’t matter how much time or money you spent making your wine if the label is unappealing to potential consumers. It doesn’t matter how well your law firm performs if nobody is enticed in. Appearance is as important as content because without it, you may not gain any clients at all.

But while a professional touch will help you thrive, I recognise that finances are the bottom line. It’s important to note that this doesn’t need to stop you from succeeding. Perhaps take a moment of time to sit down and set a budget, making reasonable allowances for branding investments. You can reach out and chat to a designer, negotiate a deal, or decide to allow for some professional assistance and some self-made work in your plan. It all depends on what is right for you – so take your time to think it through carefully, and you’ll be sure to make the wisest possible choice.

If you’d like to chat about design solutions, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call. You’ll find all my contact details in the footer.

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